Nazi swastika spray-painted on outside door of Islamic Center of Morris County
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., June 29, 2013 — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism of a mosque in that state as a possible hate crime.
An official with the Islamic Center of Morris County in Rockaway, N.J., told CAIR that someone spray-painted a Nazi swastika on an exterior door of the mosque Friday June 21. The alleged perpetrator was caught on surveillance video entering the mosque and then going out to a vehicle and returning to spend time at the site of the graffiti. Rockaway Borough Police are investigating the incident as “criminal mischief.”
The mosque had faced opposition several years ago when it was in its planning stage.
“Because of the nature of this incident and because of other recent incidents targeting American mosques, we urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive,” said CAIR-NJ Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali.
Ali noted that earlier this month, CAIR's Minnesota chapter called on law enforcement authorities to investigate repeated vandalism targeting a mosque in that state.
He said CAIR made similar calls for hate crime investigations after some two dozen paintballs were fired at a Texas mosque and a Georgia mosque was vandalized.
CAIR recently began distributing new safety and security guidelines to mosques and other Islamic institutions nationwide.
The new CAIR publication, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” was produced in response to recent bias attacks, including a series of incidents last year targeting American Muslim institutions.
Community leaders may request a free copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali, 908-668-5900, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-NJ Chair Nadia Kahf, 973-901-1618, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org