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Vandals Target Minnesota Muslim Cemetery, Write ‘Leave, You R Dead’

CAIR-MN urges law enforcement authorities to probe possible bias motive for vandalism

Publication1(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 8/1/2017) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism targeting the Muslim Cemetery Al Magfirah in Castle Rock Township.

The vandals went into buildings on the property and spray-painted profanities, Nazi swastikas and a statement that appears to be “leave, you r dead.” They also damaged walls, ceilings, furniture, and equipment on the property.

PHOTOS OF VANDALISM:

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“This attack on a Muslim cemetery property comes at a time of increasing anti-Muslim incidents across the country. Because of this rising Islamophobia, and because the cemetery has been the center of controversy in the past, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.

Hussein noted that last year, CAIR-MN welcomed a Dakota County District Court judge’s decision forcing Castle Rock Township to issue a conditional use permit for the cemetery. Judge David L. Knutson granted a summary judgement motion to the Al Maghfirah Cemetery Association in which he ruled that the township’s decision to deny the conditional use permit (CUP) was “arbitrary and capricious” because the township did not provide any written findings of fact to support its decision. 

In 2015, CAIR-MN asked federal authorities to determine whether the denial of land usage for the Islamic cemetery was discriminatory on the basis of religion and questioned whether the denial constitutes a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

SEE: CAIR-MN Welcomes Judge’s Decision in Favor of Planned Islamic Cemetery

CAIR-MN has recently dealt with a number of hate incidents targeting Muslim in Minnesota and surrounding states.

SEE: CAIR-MN Invites Woman Who Threatened to ”˜Kill’ North Dakota Muslims to Meet Community Members

CAIR-MN Welcomes 39-Year Sentence for Man Who Attempted to Murder Somalis

CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

SEE: New CAIR Report Shows More than 50 Percent Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents

CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: Anti-Muslim Bias Incidents 2017 Quarter One Update

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app

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.

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-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-221-6009, jhussein@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com 

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