CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Va. Mosque Vandalism

Sep 14, 2012, 19:03 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tonight called on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism at a Virginia mosque as a possible hate crime.

Reports indicate that the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Va., was vandalized sometime Thursday night with obscene hate graffiti, including racial slurs against African-Americans and vulgar references to Iraqis. The FBI has been contacted about the incident.

SEE: Vandalism on Harrisonburg Mosque

"Given the nature of the vandalism and ongoing international events, it is important that a bias motive be investigated in this case," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Hooper said that CAIR's Washington state chapter recently held a news conference in Seattle to call for a bias crime investigation of hate graffiti, including the slurs "sand n**gers," "doon [sic] coons," scrawled on a rental vehicle used by a group of Seattle-area Muslims on a recent vacation trip to Chelan, Wash.

CAIR-WA: Racist Vandalism Prompts Call for FBI Investigation
PHOTO: Hate Vandalism of Muslims' Car - 'Sand Ni**gers'
PHOTO: Hate Vandalism of Muslims' Car - 'Doon Coons'

[NOTE: "Sand n**ger" is a slur used to target those perceived to be Muslim or Arab-American. "Doon coon" is an apparent reference to the stereotypical belief that all Muslims originate in deserts, therefore the misspelled reference to "dunes."]

Last week, CAIR's Minnesota chapter called for an investigation of a suspicious fire outside a mosque in South Minneapolis. Muslim graves in Illinois were also desecrated with hate graffiti for the second time in one month.

CAIR: Muslim Grave Site Vandalized Again (Chicago Trib)

CAIR has seen an increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims in the aftermath of the deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

Recent incidents included shots fired at a mosque in Morton Grove, Ill., an acid bomb thrown at an Islamic school in Lombard, Ill., a mosque burned to the ground in Joplin, Mo., vandals spraying an Oklahoma mosque with paintballs, pig legs thrown at a mosque site in California, and a firebomb thrown at a Muslim family's home in Panama City, Fla.

CAIR: Anti-Islamic Sentiment in America Troubles Muslims (CNN)
String of Attacks Threaten U.S. Muslims During Ramadan
CAIR: Mosque Attacks Common Nationwide

Muslim individuals and institutions are being asked to review advice on security procedures in CAIR's "Community Security and Safety Tips."

SEE: CAIR Community Safety and Security Tips

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.

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations