CAIR-LA Stands in Solidarity with Jewish Community After Signs Near Topanga Elementary School Defaced with Nazi Swastikas

(LOS ANGELES, CA - 12/10/2019) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today condemned anti-Semitic and threatening graffiti posted near an elementary school in Topanga.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, Nazi swastikas and threatening messages were found near Topanga Elementary Charter School twice in the past three weeks. The newspaper reported the threats were deemed “non-credible” this morning.

The first occurrence reported by a parent on Nov. 21 when a swastika and the words “mass shoot everyone” were discovered scrawled on a vinyl banner advertising a school play. Another swastika was reported drawn at the bottom of a crosswalk sign near the banner.

The second occurrence was reported by a student on Dec. 3, when a student reported seeing the words “mass shooting” and “all humans are evil” written inside the drawing of a swastika on a school sign near the campus.

The threats of violence were investigated by the Los Angeles School Police and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and deemed “non-credible,” with “no evidence of a direct threat to the school,” according to a letter from the school sent to parents. The school has arranged for an increased police presence on campus for the duration of the investigation into the origin of the graffiti.

READ: Graffiti threatening ‘mass shooting’ found near Topanga elementary school

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-12-09/graffiti-threatening-mass-shooting-found-near-topanga-elementary-school

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

“While we are grateful no credible threat has been discovered, these displays of bigotry, coupled with suggestions of violence, are extremely disturbing. The incidents at this school are a continuation of the pattern we have been witnessing of bigots being emboldened in their speech as well as their actions. 

“Anti-Semitism and xenophobia in any form are unacceptable, especially when targeting institutions of learning. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and all targeted minorities against the actions of bigots who violate our nation’s long-standing principles of religious tolerance and inclusion.”

In a statement, L.A. school board member Nick Melvoin said:

“The safety of our students is a top priority, and we will not tolerate hate crimes or violent threats of any kind in LA Unified. I am especially saddened when these hateful messages threaten to disrupt a place of learning, just outside the walls where we teach our children every day to act with kindness and compassion.” 

Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA's Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at: https://bit.ly/2L9Ezsw.

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847 or efields@cair.com


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