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CAIR-NJ Asks FBI to Probe Nazi Vandalism of Mosque Sign

Vandals target sign of new mosque in Midland Park(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 6/2/2015) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the carving of a Nazi swastika into an Midland Park mosque’s entrance sign.

Officials with the Elzahra Islamic Center say they discovered the hate vandalism last week. The vandal reportedly cut a 10-inch swastika into the wooden sign.

“These types of incidents should be investigated within the context of the rising level of Islamophobic sentiment in our society and treated with the seriousness they deserve,†CAIR-NJ Board Chair Nadia Kahf. “Public officials and interfaith leaders should speak out against acts of hatred and intolerance whenever they occur.

He noted that CAIR last week called for a similar investigation of threats mailed to a number of Phoenix, Ariz., mosques, one of which was surrounded last Friday by armed anti-Islam protesters. Nazi symbols were displayed at that rally.

CAIR also recently called on the Obama administration to treat a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York as an act of terrorism and to charge the admitted organizer of the attack as a terrorist.

In another recent case, CAIR called on law enforcement authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to step up protection of a mosque and Islamic school in that county following threats to bomb the school’s bus and to spill “Muslim blood.†CAIR also called on the FBI to investigate the phoned threats as hate crimes.

Other anti-Muslim incidents include threats to mosques in Iowa and Ohio, “No Muslims†graffiti spray-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, hate vandalism of a Rhode Island Islamic school and threats to murder Massachusetts Muslims.

CAIR is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or civilrights@cair.com.

A copy of CAIR “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, may be requested through its website: 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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Board Chair Nadia Kahf, nkahf@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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