SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., June 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism of a mosque in that state as a possible hate crime.
An official with the Islamic Center of Morris County in Rockaway, N.J., told CAIR that someone spray-painted a Nazi swastika on an exterior door of the mosque Friday evening. The alleged perpetrator was caught on surveillance video entering the mosque and then going out to a vehicle and returning to spend time at the site of the graffiti. Rockaway Borough Police are investigating the incident as "criminal mischief."
SEE: Islamic Center Vandalized in Rockaway
The mosque had faced opposition several years ago when it was in its planning stage.
SEE: Suit Seeks to Overturn Mosque Plan in Rockaway
"Because of the nature of this incident and because of other recent incidents targeting American mosques, we urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive," said CAIR-NJ Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali.
Ali noted that earlier this month, CAIR's Minnesota chapter called on law enforcement authorities to investigate repeated vandalism targeting a mosque in that state.
Video: CAIR Seeks Probe of Bias Motive for Minnesota Mosque Vandalism
He said CAIR made similar calls for hate crime investigations after some two dozen paintballs were fired at a Texas mosque and a Georgia mosque was vandalized.
Video: CAIR Rep Says Texas Mosque Vandalism Should Not Be Taken Lightly
Video: CAIR Says Ga. Mosque Vandalism May Be Tied to London Incident
Video: CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Georgia Mosque Vandalism
CAIR recently began distributing new safety and security guidelines to mosques and other Islamic institutions nationwide.
The new CAIR publication, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," was produced in response to recent bias attacks, including a series of incidents last year targeting American Muslim institutions.
Community leaders may request a free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," by going to:
SEE: CAIR Distributes New Mosque Safety Guidelines
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 Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali, 908-668-5900, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-NJ Chair Nadia Kahf, 973-901-1618, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations