The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today condemned vandalism targeting the Muslim Chaplaincy house at Rutgers University (A.K.A. CILRU, Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University).

[NOTE: The news of this vandalism comes as a San Francisco mosque has been vandalized more than once during Ramadan.]

CAIR-NJ also welcomed the attorney general’s participation in a hate crime investigation being led by local New Brunswick police.

SEE: Rutgers Islamic center burglarized as Ramadan ends

SEE VIDEO OF VANDALISM.

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“CILRU is the heart of Muslim life on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. Students gather at the center to enjoy community, worship together, and support each other. Its desecration, especially on the Islamic holiday of Eid, is deeply distressing. 

“Our CAIR-New Jersey office continues to see an unprecedented uptick in reports alleging anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias incidents and discrimination. 

“We welcome the investigation by New Brunswick police and the support of the Attorney general’s office. This belligerent incident of hate must be prosecuted as such.

“CAIR-New Jersey calls on civic and political leaders and interfaith allies to show their solidarity with the CILRU community by sending letters to their 122 College Avenue New Brunswick, NJ 08901 address. 

“We also call on Rutgers University to heed the concerns of Muslim students who have long expressed concern of the rise anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate.

Maksut urged houses of worship to utilize CAIR’s Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety guide, which contains security advice applicable to institutions of all faiths.

He noted that CAIR’s new civil rights report released earlier this month revealed the highest number of bias complaints ever received in its 30-year history.

SEE: New CAIR Civil Rights Report Reveals Highest Number of Complaints in Group’s 30-Year History

In statement, CILRU Chairwomen Atiyah Aftab said:

“On the auspicious occasion of Eid, our hearts are heavy as we report an act of vandalism at the Muslim Chaplaincy house at Rutgers University. 

“Today, we witnessed art pieces with Quranic verses, shattered windows, vandalized TVs, broken printers, smashed artwork and the destruction of our Palestinian flag.

“This reprehensible act, occurring on our sacred day, is undoubtedly fueled by Islamophobia is clearly a hate crime targeting our Muslim population at Rutgers.

We will continue to say what we are supposed to on Eid. Allahu Akbar, God is Greater. God is Greater than acts of hate and we will continue to carry on.

“Our building can be smashed, but our wills cannot. Allahu Akbar wa lillahil Hamd.”

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

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, smaksut@cair.com, 908-267-3119