(AUSTIN, TX, 5/27/19) — The Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Austin), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today asked state and local law enforcement authorities in Texas to investigate vandalism targeting a sign for ”Muslim Space,” an Austin-based Islamic institution.
A sign for Muslim Space directing attendees to a Ramadan fast-breaking meal (iftar) location was defaced with Islamophobic language and obscenities. The vandalized sign was discovered outside the Muslim Space community iftar at the Colony Amenity Center within a gated community in Bastrop, Texas.
SEE: Image of Vandalism
“It is truly unfortunate that while inside, Muslim Space created an inclusive opportunity for a community to come together in solidarity, and outside, at least one person chose to act out of hate,” said CAIR-Austin Executive Director, Maira Sheikh. “It is disturbing to consider that Islamophobes have become so emboldened as to vandalize a sign outside an event because they see the word ”˜Muslim.’ We urge law enforcement to treat this as a possible hate crime and to step up efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“This act of hate was an expression of misguided information and ignorance. What was done cannot be taken back, but I pray the vandal(s) comes forward and take ownership of their actions,” said Muslim Space Executive Director Shadia Igram. “Muslim Space strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all in our community and we extend an invitation to anyone who wishes to learn more about Islam or the work we do. Muslims have the right to peacefully live their lives in the open, free of threats and we truly appreciate the overwhelming support of our countless friends and allies.”
This act of vandalism comes only a month after an arson attempt and several acts of vandalism targeting a north Austin mosque as well as a Muslim-owned business.
SEE: CAIR-Austin seeks hate crime probe of attempted Texas mosque arson
CAIR-Austin Calls for Stepped-Up Police Efforts After Third Act of Vandalism Targeting Texas Muslim Community
Vandal Targeting Muslim-Owned Business Strikes Again
CAIR asks mosques and other Islamic institutions to take measures outlined in its “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” booklet. Advice offered in CAIR’s security publication is applicable to all institutions, regardless of organizational mission.
The booklet may be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/BestSafetyPractices
CAIR is America’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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-Austin Executive Director Maira Sheikh, 512-785-7105, firstname.lastname@example.org; Muslim Space Executive Director Shadia Igram, email@example.com