Council on American-Islamic Relations calls for investigating vandalism at downtown Chicago mosque

Photo showing glass door shattered at downtown Chicago mosque. PHOTO: CAIR

The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a downtown Chicago mosque as a possible hate crime.

Worshipers at the Downtown Islamic Center said a man had been making threats as members were going inside to pray Sunday night, March 17, 2024, including shouting “All Muslims should die” and verbally harassing a woman. The man reportedly left and came back with an object that he used to smash the mosque’s glass door, which was locked, a March 18 press release from CAIR-Chicago said. The video in the press release shows a man seemingly shouting at the door of the mosque.

In a statement, Salman Azam of the Downtown Islamic Center said, “We are deeply concerned that a hate crime has taken place during our holy month of Ramadan during which the mosque is frequented nightly by our diverse congregation for special prayers. All houses of worship should be a beacon and a safe space for the community. We hope the assailant is swiftly apprehended and prosecuted so a message can be sent that such acts will not be tolerated.”

In a statement, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab added, “Because of the alleged threats made to worshipers and the vandalism targeting the mosque, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime and to step up security for this and other houses of worship in the area. Every American should be free to practice their faith without fear of intimidation or attack.”

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



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