Davis Islamic Community Again Hit with an Act of Hatred

A group of citizens including Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor stood outside the Islamic Center in support of the Muslim community/ photo posted on Facebook

It has been nearly five months since Lauren Kirk-Coehlo desecrated the Islamic Center of Davis with breaking windows and hanging bacon on the door knobs, and a week since her sentencing drew some community complaints about leniency.

Early on Friday morning during one of the last prayers of Ramadan, “Muslim children witnessed a car outside of the Masjid scatter ripped up pieces of the Quran (Islamic holy book) all over the street and in front of the Mosque.”

The community reports, “The prayer was stopped so that everyone could pick up the pieces.”

Last night, dozens of community members on the last day of Ramadan came out in support of the Muslim community.

According to CAIR-SV (Council on American-Islamic Relations, Sacramento Valley), an Islamic Civil Rights group, this was one of two incidents that occurred in the Sacramento area, and CAIR on Saturday thanked law enforcement authorities for “prompt and professional” action following two incidents near local mosques in which Qurans, Islam’s holy text, “were desecrated in apparent acts of intimidation.”

CAIR writes that “during Ramadan ‘Taraweeh’ prayers at the Islamic Center of Davis, someone threw a large quantity of pages torn out of a Quran while driving by in a car. The pages were littered around the mosque when police responded. This is the second time the Islamic Center of Davis has been subjected to a hate incident this year. In January, a woman broke the windows at the mosque and left bacon strips on the entrance handles.”

At some point before Saturday morning, a person burned a Quran and attached it with handcuffs to a chain link fence in the parking lot of a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department service center.

The department office is a direct neighbor of the Masjid Annur Islamic Center, located in South Sacramento.

“We thank all the officers involved in these investigations for their prompt and professional actions in responding to these troubling incidents,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra. “Decisive action by law enforcement authorities sends a strong message of deterrence to anyone who contemplates turning their bigoted views into acts of intimidation.”

On Friday, CAIR announced it has launched a new civil rights app that gives users the ability to immediately report bias incidents they experience. The launch of CAIR’s new app was promoted by an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.

Since the beginning of the year, “CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.”

The Vanguard was planning to have a discussion of the Islamic Center incident and sentencing from earlier this year on Thursday at 6 pm on Facebook live, and we anticipate expanding the discussion – which will feature Mayor Robb Davis, among others – to the most recent incident.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Howard P

    Subtle recognition of ‘respect’ both here and in the Bee today…  use of the term ‘masjid’ instead of ‘mosque’.  Use of an Arabic term, rather than on derived from French.  Small step, but welcome…

    1. Howard P

      yes… but in reality it will take a lot of people, making individual choices to change THEIR tone, regardless of what others do, to change the larger population’s tone.

      You can’t tell folk “how to feel”, and particularly not “how they should feel”, unless you want to provoke a serious fight reaction.

      Old song, a line of which is “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”.

      No promises, just a goal.

      As John H suggests, “Indeed. So each journey is begun…”

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