Anti-Muslim Sign, with Caricature of Prophet, Left Near Houston Mosque

February 8, 2006

Source: Houston Chronicle

On February 8, 2006 the Houston Chronicle reported, "Islamic leaders are outraged that a sign with anti-Muslim sentiments left near a southeast Houston mosque will not likely be pursued by authorities as a hate crime.

The large plywood sign, written in black crayon, labeled Muslims as the enemy and included a bearded character representing the Prophet Muhammad.

It was discovered Monday evening near the mosque in the 8800 block of Old Galveston Road.

The sign had been placed against a fence considered public property by Houston investigators. If the sign had been left on the mosque's property, authorities said, it would be more likely considered a hate crime.

'The suspect would have been on public property when the sign was placed and did not cross onto (the mosque's) property as far as we can tell. It's currently under investigation to determine whether it should be classified as a hate crime,' said Nat McDuell, a Houston Police Department spokesman...

Imam Zoubir Bouchikhi, the mosque's leader and the one who made the discovery, questioned why authorities are not taking action... Kaleem Siddiqui, spokesman for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, was also troubled by HPD's investigation.

He speculated that the sign may have been prompted by the uproar, including riots in the Muslim world, over the publication of some Danish political cartoons satirizing Muhammad."