New Jersey Muslim Center Defaced With ‘Donald Trump,’ Racist Graffiti

Bayonne Muslims, however, has clashed with some in the town over a proposal to build a new mosque. Critics claim the mosque would violate zoning ordinances and could cause traffic and parking problems. 

But supporters say such complaints are simply a cover for anti-Muslim sentiment. 

Earlier this year, Michael Alonso, a local Republican activist and vocal opponent of the proposed mosque, said in a statement that “in light of the Orlando terrorist attack recently committed in the name of Islam, a mosque in Bayonne would be unsafe and unwise.”

BuzzFeed reported that some in Bayonne have placed “Stop the Mosque” and “Save Bayonne” signs in their windows. 

Meanwhile, members of Bayonne Muslims have to hold Friday prayer services at the Muslim Community Miraj Center, a small basement space.

“It’s been a hot topic in the town,” Akbar told HuffPost of the proposed mosque. He said Friday’s vandalism may have stemmed from a “combination of what we’re hearing [about Muslims] from political candidates and us trying to build a center here.”

A report earlier this year from the Council on American-Islamic Relations found 78 instances in 2015 where mosques were targeted for vandalism, arson and other types of destruction ― a nearly 400 percent jump from 2014.

Similarly, a recent report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, documented at least 260 hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2015 ― a nearly 80 percent rise from 2014 and the greatest number of such crimes in any year since 2001. 

In 2016, The Huffington Post has tracked nearly 290 acts of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and political speech in the U.S. 

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