(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 12/9/2015) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on the FBI to investigate arson and vandalism of the Juba Coffee House, a popular Somali restaurant in Grand Forks, N.D., as a hate crime.
The Grand Forks Fire Department responded to the fire early on December 8. Later in the day, The department said in a news release that the fire was â€œincendiary and suspicious in nature.â€
The Grand Forks Police Department also is investigating apparent vandalism that occurred overnight Thursday, when someone painted graffiti on the exterior wall of the building. The graffiti included what appears to be an SS in the style of a symbol for Nazi Germanyâ€™s secret police above the painted words â€œgo home.â€
“We call on federal authorities to investigate this attack as a hate crime and urge local law enforcement to increase patrols around mosques within their jurisdiction,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “The lives of American Muslims have been placed in danger by the rising anti-Muslim hysteria in our nation and by the inflammatory rhetoric used by a number of national public figures.”
This incident fits a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community since the Paris attacks the San Bernardino killings and anti-Muslim rhetoric by public figures like Donald Trump.
CAIR-MN is also asking Minnesota Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 612-206-3360.
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-206-3360, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, email@example.com