SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 1/11/17) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called for a hate crime investigation of anti-Islam hate graffiti targeting the home of a Bayonne pastor.

The messages, spray-painted on Pastor Joseph Basile’s home included “F**k Islam” were found on the outside of his home, on the snow and on the nearby road.

SEE: Bayonne Pastor’s House Vandalized with anti-Muslim graffiti

“This act of vandalism was clearly directed at the local Muslim community, which has faced fierce opposition to its efforts to build a community center in the area,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “All Americans must be able to practice their faith and worship as they choose without fear of harassment or intimidation. We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime.”

He noted that Bayonne Muslims have faced significant opposition to their plans to build a permanent house of worship from local residents at Zoning Board meetings.

SEE: Bayonne residents opposed to Islamic center to Protest at City Hall

An unprecedented spike in Islamophobic rhetoric and anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in recent months, and particularly since the November 8 election, has been attributed at least in part to statements and policy proposals made by public figures like President-elect Donald Trump.

CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website:

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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