After St. Paul mosque vandalized multiple times, CAIR-MN asks for community support

October 15, 2020

 

After someone went into a St. Paul mosque’s school building and spraypainted all over, leaving extensive damage, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for community support.

There have been several acts of vandalism at the Dar Uloom Islamic Center in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood in recent months, but the first caused more than $20,000 in damage to the school building over the summer, according to CAIR-Minnesota.

“We are not concerned about residents in the immediate neighborhood around Dar Uloom Islamic Center, who have been friendly and supportive of their local mosque,” said CAIR-Minnesota executive director Jaylani Hussein, in a statement on Tuesday. “We suspect that extremists outside of the community are committing these hateful acts.”

It’s unclear what the vandals’ motivations were. Because it happened at a mosque, CAIR-Minnesota regards it as a bias-motivated crime, until law enforcement makes arrests and more can be determined, Hussein said.

 

In the first vandalism incident at the school building on Fifth Street, between Forest and Cypress streets, “the entire building was defaced,” Hussein said. “There’s literally spray paint on every single door, on the walls, on the stairways. They went to town.”

The incident was reported to police Aug. 25, who were told it happened weeks earlier. “Due to the extent of damage and graffiti, the suspect may have been inside the building for quite some time,” according to a police report.

 

On Aug. 24, a person or people broke the front door of the school building, according to CAIR-MN. The mosque had the door repaired that day, but vandals broke the door down again the next day.

Vehicles in the private parking lot were also broken into and vandalized.

Hussein said in his statement that mosques in Minnesota “have been targeted with bombings, vandalism and more. Since 2016, we have seen an increase in other Islamophobic threats and attacks. We cannot accept these assaults on mosques that intend to intimidate Muslims and the Dar Uloom Islamic Center community. We will not be intimidated, and we will not stop our worship.”

 

CAIR-MN said people can support the Dar Uloom Islamic Center through gofundme.com/f/support-dar-uloom-islamic-center. Donations will be used for safety measures at the mosque and repairs to the school building, according to Hussein.

The school building has been unoccupied, but the mosque wants to use it in the future.

 

 

 

 

Source: After St. Paul mosque vandalized multiple times, CAIR-MN asks for community support - Twin Cities Pioneer Press