Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Chicago-Area Mosque Vandalized

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Chicago-Area Mosque Vandalized

Article excerpt

Chicago-Area Mosque Vandalized

The Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, IL was the target of a hate crime recently when a giant concrete block was thrown through the window of the newly renovated mosque. The mosque, one of the largest in the country, is set in a very quiet upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago. Along with the prayer hall, the complex houses a full-time Islamic school, a large activity center, and a book store.

Administrators at the mosque say that this incident wasn't an isolated one. During its expansion, windows at the mosque were broken by assailants driving a white van. The same white van has been seen lurking around the grounds of the mosque occasionally, and it is believed to have been used in the most recent act of vandalism there. Besides these physical assaults on the mosque, there have been numerous incidents of verbal harassment of Muslim women standing in front of the mosque who were dressed in religiously mandated clothing.

"It is really a shame that people would target our mosque, or any other mosque or religious institution," said Abdul Hamid Dogar, president of the Islamic Foundation.

The vandalism of the mosque received extensive coverage from the local media. On the national level, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, DC issued a statement calling on law enforcement officials to investigate the attack as a possible hate crime.

"Bigots do not always leave evidence, such as anti-Muslim graffiti, at the scene of a crime. The apparently premeditated nature of this attack would seem to indicate that it was not a random act of violence, but was instead directed specifically at the Muslim community," said CAIR's national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.

The vandalism at the Islamic Foundation came shortly after a terrorist attack was prevented at another mosque situated, by unhappy coincidence, in Littleton, CO, site of the rampage by two high school students in which they killed themselves and 13 others and shocked the nation.

On May 12, police noticed a suspicious vehicle parked outside the Colorado Islamic Center. The driver of the car sped away and attempted to elude the police officers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.