Texas Mosque vandalized with racist graffiti
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for the FBI to take a lead role in the investigation of an attack targeting a Texas mosque on which vandals scrawled anti-Muslim graffiti.
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group said worshipers at the Islamic Center of the South Plains in Lubbock, Texas, discovered the graffiti and other vandalism early this morning.
Mosque officials told CAIR the vandals wrote “sand n**gers” and “America rocks b*tch” on the interior walls of the center. They also broke windows and damaged, destroyed or removed other items in the mosque. The FBI and local law enforcement authorities have begun an investigation of the incident.
There are an estimated 700 Muslims in the Lubbock area, mainly professionals or students at a nearby university.
“Because of its greater resources and investigative capabilities, we call on the FBI to take a lead role in this case and ask local authorities to step up patrols in the area of Texas mosques,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. He noted that just last month, a Houston mosque was damaged by a fire that authorities say was intentionally set. It has not yet been determined whether the arson was bias-related.
Hooper added that many Muslims believe anti-Islamic rhetoric by religious and political leaders is one contributory factor leading Islamophobes to act out their bigoted views.
Incidents targeting mosques and Islamic centers have occurred across America, particularly since the 9/11 terror attacks. In August of last year, investigators determined that a blaze at the Islamic Center of Savannah in Savannah, Ga., was an act of arson. In 2002, a pick-up truck was driven into the front of the Islamic Center of Tallahassee, Fla. Similar attacks have occurred in a number of other states, including Texas, Washington and Ohio.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.