CAIR-New Jersey Welcomes Hate Crime Charges for Vandalism of Mural Depicting Muslim Woman


(PLAINFIELD, NJ, 5/6/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed hate crime charges against a man suspected of vandalizing a mural in Highland Park, N.J., depicting a Muslim woman wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

The suspect, a 54-year-old Highland Park native, has been charged with fourth-degree bias intimidation and criminal mischief for allegedly spray painting over the portion of the mural depicting a Muslim woman wearing an Islamic head scarf. The vandalism reportedly occurred on April 29.

SEE: Highland Park, NJ man charged with hate crime in mural vandalism

“We thank law enforcement authorities for their swift action in this case,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut. “The residents of Highland Park have demonstrated clearly that they will not tolerate anti-Muslim bigotry and hate in their community.”

Maksut noted that CAIR-NJ condemned the vandalism after it occurred last month.


SEE: CAIR-NJ Condemns Graffiti Defacing Highland Park Mural of Muslim Woman, Welcomes Swift Police Investigation

He also noted that CAIR recently issued a civil rights report showing the highest ever number of reported Muslim civil rights complaints.

SEE: Complaints of Anti-Muslim Incidents, Bias on the Rise in New Jersey

CAIR-NJ Report:

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.