Press Releases

CAIR-NJ Asks Feds to Probe Hate Graffiti Targeting Muslim BOE Candidate’s Signs

azrabaig(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 11/9/16) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate graffiti left on the campaign lawn signs of South Brunswick Board of Education member and successful candidate for re-election, Azra Baig.

Campaign lawn signs positioned in the vicinity of South Brunswick High School were defaced with phrases such as “Rag Headâ€, “ISISâ€, and “ISIS sympathizer.†Six different lawn signs were defaced between September 26 and October 21. South Brunswick Police have been conducting an investigation, but no arrests have been made.

“This kind of hate speech serves to reinforce negative stereotypes and casts a shadow of suspicion and doubt over all Muslims,†said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime.â€

“Unfortunately, these past months have seen a level of divisiveness and rancor that should be intolerable for anyone in a civilized society,†said United States Congresswoman, Bonnie Watson Coleman. “There is no circumstance where we can be willing to accept the racism, sexism, xenophobia and religious intolerance that has permeated throughout this past election cycle.  Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong as one community and put aside our differences so that we may all do the hard work required to ensure an even brighter tomorrow for our country’s future generation.â€

“I am extremely disappointed in what happened to Ms. Azra Baig’s campaign signs,†said South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese. “We are very proud of Ms. Baig and her service to the community.  This is not who we are in South Brunswick.â€

“These criminal actions do not represent any part of the wonderful community of South Brunswick, NJ and the warmth and kindness of everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting with†said Board of Education member Ms. Azra Baig. “I am grateful to the community for their support of my re-election and I am grateful for the efforts of the South Brunswick Police Department for their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.â€

Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329-4000, X7460.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialog, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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 CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, jsues@cair.com; CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, csaylor@cair.com

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