Imagine a town that does not want to accept nor serve you because of who you are. A town that allows messages like, “leave, you are dead,” to remain unaccountable and under wraps of racial bias. A town that attempts to burn down a space of memorial, tribute, and eternal rest for the dead…
October 5th, a gas leak was reported at Al Maghfirah’s Muslim Cemetery when community members found the looks of a hate crime. Around three dozen tires and a cut gas pipe were placed inside the building of Al Maghfirah (“AL-MAGFEERA”) Cemetery in an initially unwelcoming Castle Rock Township, for what appeared to be in hopes of an explosion.
“An explosion and resulting fire were thankfully averted in what appears to be the latest hate attack on the Muslim community,” says CAIR MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.
For the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), this isn’t the first time an occurrence like this has happened. Actually, according to the Executive Director, Jaylani Hussein, the same cemetery was vandalized with destruction of property in 2017.
What’s interesting about this case is that the board of Castle Rock Township never wanted a Muslim Cemetery to be there. Even with the Al Maghfirah Cemetery Association agreeing not to build a funeral home on Castle Rock Township property, their application was still rejected in receiving a conditional use permit. The board of Castle Rock Township claimed it was due to tax purposes and it being an enclosed burial site, cut off from the public. But Judge David Knutson eventually ruled in Al Maghfirah Cemetery Association’s favor, claiming the board of Castle Rock Township was “arbitrary” and “capricious” in their claims.
In 2017, when the vandalization happened–conveniently after Castle Town Rock was denied a choice in rejecting Al Maghfirah’s Cemetery, one of the messages painted on the wall was “leave, you r dead,” nearside swastikas also painted on the wall..
“We call on local, state and federal law enforcement agencies – including the FBI – to investigate a possible bias motive for this failed arson attack against a Muslim institution.”
A conference was held by CAIR-Minnesota this past Monday, the 25th, and further investigation is currently in process. For further information on the organization, visit here.