Islamophobic graffiti should trigger hate-crime probe, Muslim group says

SHARE Islamophobic graffiti should trigger hate-crime probe, Muslim group says
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CAIR-Chicago’s Executive Director Ahmed Rehab speaks at a press conference following the Supreme Court’s decision on upholding the travel ban. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

A civil liberties organization on Tuesday called for officials to conduct a hate-crime investigation after Islamophobic graffiti was found in front of a home in Homer Glen.

The graffiti was spray-painted Monday on the sidewalk in front of the home of a Muslim family who has lived in the southwest suburb for more than 20 years, according to a statement from the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“These kinds of cowardly attacks are designed to do one thing: make people feel unwelcome and unsafe, even in the sanctity of their own homes, for no other reason than their personal choice of faith,” CAIR Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said in a statement.

Graffiti left in front of a Muslim family’s home Monday in southwest suburban Homer Glen. | Photo provided by CAIR-Chicago

Graffiti left in front of a Muslim family’s home Monday in southwest suburban Homer Glen. | Photo provided by CAIR-CHICAGO

The incident was reported to the Will County sheriff’s office, which provides law enforcement for the village, about 8 p.m. and responded to the home in the 13000 block of West Sparrow Court, according to spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer. Deputies were told the sidewalk in front of the house had been spray painted and that a vehicle had been damaged by spray paint on the tail lights, trunk and bumper.

The graffiti contained crosses and a message that appeared to be an attempt to mock the Islamic phrase “peace be upon him,” which Muslims say when they reference the Prophet Muhammed, Rehab and the sheriff’s office said.

CAIR said the son of the couple who live at the home reported the incident to law enforcement and the organization after it was discovered.

“We call on the sheriff’s department to investigate this incident with its full resources and resolve, and to increase patrols in the area,” Rehab said.

Detectives are investigating and asking residents if they saw anything suspicious in the area of Sparrow Court to contact investigators at (815) 727-8574.

“The Sheriff’s Office takes this type of crime very seriously,” Hoffmeyer said in a statement Wednesday.

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