The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for an investigation into the alleged bias-motivated vandalism of a Fargo Muslim Cemetery in North Dakota.
Local Muslim community leaders told CAIR that they were alerted on Friday about the vandalism of the cemetery building and five cement vaults inside the warehouse. The police had been notified of the incident, according to CAIR.
All five faults were badly damaged and smashed open, leaving debris on the floor, InForum stated. The estimated overall damage is more than $5,000.
“They needed to have some sort of tool to get in, and then also to break up these vaults,” said Heidi Soliman, an Islamic Society spokesperson to InForum. “They’re cement boxes that are heavy and big. So this is a little concerning, and why, and who did it and what was the point? Probably not high school kids.”
Islamic Society Board Member Dr. Ahmer Qarni also told InForum that he does not think this was a random crime.
“This is a pre-planned hate crime, just to send a message to the Muslims, you know, that you are not welcome,” he said to InForum.
However, despite the crime, Dr. Qarni said this would not stop the thousands of Muslim community members from continuing to maintain the cemetery.
“Given the recent incidents targeting Muslim communities in the region, we urge law enforcement authorities to consider a possible bias motive as they investigate this case,” CAIR Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement. “All faith communities should be able to bury their dead and carry out other aspects of their faith without fear of harassment.”
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