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[LISTEN] The America Report: Burial Vaults Smashed in North Dakota Muslim Cemetery

 

2 min read

28.10.22

17H45 CAT

Umm Muhammed Umar

fahmida@radioislam.org.za

Radio Islam spoke to Brother Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), on the America Report.

CAIR has condemned racist vandalism at an Iowa College. Brother Ibrahim said that this was just another incident of the racism that was impacting American society – college campuses, mosques, synagogues, churches and other public places were now subjected to this kind of racist vandalism. He said, “our Los Angeles chapter had (just recently) condemned a racist antisemitic banner that was put over a freeway bridge, with people doing a Nazi salute there.” He added, “it’s ridiculous what’s happening, and it seems the racists and bigots in our nation while previously they were kept under the rocks, seem to be now emboldened in this new era of Trump, to do these kinds of things openly and they think they’ll get more support.”

There was also an incident where people were standing on a freeway and supporting rapper, Kanye West, for the remarks that he made against the Jewish community, saying that what he had said about Jews was correct. The mayor of Los Angeles, as well as other community leaders had swiftly condemned such bigotry and such actions. Brother Ibrahim said, “when you bring it to light and you ask people to repudiate it, they do, but sometimes people have are busy in their lives, and they just don’t take the time to pay attention to this growing bigotry.” He added, “But we should, because it grows in silence.”

Meanwhile, a North Carolina Sheriff resigned following an outcry over his racist remarks. CAIR issued a statement of welcome at his resignation. However, Brother Ibrahim said, “We got word that part of the reason he resigned was so he wouldn’t be held accountable, and that he could come back in the future. So, these things are never closed, and it means you always have to be vigilant.”

Further, Fargo Muslim Cemetery in North Dakota was vandalized. Five concrete vaults used in burials were smashed. Brother Ibrahim said, “there have been a series of these really troubling events in the Minnesota – North Dakota area, whether it’s attacks on Muslim cemeteries or mosques, or Muslim individuals.” He expressed concern at the number of incidents that had taken place. He explained that when the dead were buried, the state mandate was that they were buried in a cement vault. Describing the incident, he said, “So, somebody obviously took a sledgehammer, because these things are cement and they’re smashing them. And so, it was really kind of a dedicated effort to vandalize this facility.” Brother Ibrahim added, “given the fact that we had all of these previous incidents, we wanted law enforcement authorities to at least look at the possibility of a bias motive in this case.”

Lastly, the Maryland community intended calling on the Montgomery County Council to reject the disputed definition of antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism. Brother Ibrahim clarified that there was a concerted effort across the US to implement this specific definition of anti semitism that would result in any criticism of Israel being viewed as anti-semitic. He said, “obviously that’s not the case. The issue is whether you can criticize the policies of a foreign government that negatively impacts human rights of Muslims and Christians.” Brother Ibrahim added, “this rejection of this particular definition is strongly supported by a number of Jewish groups.” He said that this issue had to be addressed all over the country, and that’s what CAIR was trying to do.

 

 

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