HAF Concerned Over California Mosque Attack

Fremont, CA (August 26, 2010): The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed deep concern over attacks on a mosque this Tuesday in Madera, California.  Vandals posting two signs, including one which read, "Wake up America, the enemy is here," marked the third incident of vandalism at the mosque that the Madera County Sheriff's Department has started investigating as hate crimes.  Earlier this week, a brick was thrown at the center and another sign with, "No temple for the god of terrorism” was placed on the property.
 
“The United States is meant to be a place where members of any faith can congregate without fear of persecution. These displays of bigotry are despicable,” said Mihir Meghani, a co-founder and member of HAF’s Board of Directors and a physician practicing in Northern California.  “The perpetrators must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to set a precedent for hate crimes against any faith community.”
 
There have been increasing reports of vandalism and protests against mosques across the nation and even attacks on Muslim Americans over the last few months.  Tennessee, New York, Kentucky and California saw protests in opposition to local mosques, while in New York City, a 21-year-old film student was charged with attempted murder for stabbing a cab driver after the driver identified himself as a Muslim.  Earlier this week, an intoxicated man was arrested for entering another New York mosque, this one in Queens, during prayer service, shouting anti-Muslim slurs and urinating on a prayer rug.
 
“These hate crimes indicate the level of ignorance and bigotry that still exists in many corners throughout our nation,” continued Meghani. “Communities across the country must embrace their cultural and religious diversity as a strength. Only then will we fully accept the differences amongst us and uphold the American values of tolerance and pluralism.”