After New York mosque vandalised, calls urge increased security
Rights advocates are urging for increased security for mosques in the New York City area following vandalism at a mosque in the borough of Staten Island.
Last week, on 11 September, someone urinated in front of the Masjid Al-Wadood mosque, then damaged a wooden rack used for holding shoes during prayer services. The alleged vandal has not been caught, though the license plate number of their car was reportedly captured on camera.
The mosque vandalism occurred around the same time that an antisemitic flier was delivered to a Jewish family in a nearby area of Staten Island. Earlier this month, a desecrated Quran was left at Turkish House, part of the country's Council General in New York. Also, earlier this month, a Bosnian Islamic centre in New York was attacked. Last month, two mosques in the Washington, DC area received threatening calls.
"We urge community leaders and law enforcement authorities to step up security at mosques – and at all houses of worship – as we, unfortunately, witness an increase in bias-motivated rhetoric and actions nationwide," said Afaf Nasher, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-New York, in a public statement.
"Community members must also remain vigilant while carrying out their religious observances."
CAIR are urging religious institutions to step up security and to apply for non-profit government grants to help with security.