(ST. PAUL, MN, 7/09/10) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today asked the FBI to investigate recent graffiti spray-painted on a St. Cloud business as a possible hate crime. The Hormud Market, owned by a Somali Muslim St. Cloud resident, was spray painted with the words “Go Home” on Thursday, July 8.
“We urge the FBI and local law enforcement authorities to treat this incident as a civil rights violation,” said CAIR-MN President Lori Saroya. “Law enforcement officials must send a strong message that hate against any minority group is not acceptable in St. Cloud and that hate crimes will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.”
She said the store vandalism comes following a series of recent incidents in St. Cloud targeting the Somali Muslim community. In December, anti-Muslim cartoons were posted outside the mosque and Muslim businesses. In March, a New Hope man was arrested after he posted threats on Craigslist targeting a Somali cultural event. Also in March, CAIR-MN responded to an anti-Islam newspaper advertisement, headlined “Does the Islamic Religion Represent a Threat to America.” In May, CAIR-MN welcomed the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to investigate complaints of racial tensions in St. Cloud high schools.
Saroya also urged Muslim individuals and institutions in St. Cloud to review security procedures using advice contained in CAIR’s “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
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-MN President Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam, Esq., 651-587-4712, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org