NJ Muslim community outraged over apparent harassment incident

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
NJ Muslim community outraged over apparent harassment
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Members of a Muslim community in New Jersey are speaking out after an incident they say was intended to harass and intimidate them. Toni Yates has the story.

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Members of a Muslim community in New Jersey are speaking out after an incident they say was intended to harass and intimidate them.

It happened Saturday at the Muslim Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway.

Organizers say more than 200 members were attending an event when a truck drove into the parking lot.

The truck, equipped with a digital billboard showing images from the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, circled around the lot twice, stopping several times before finally leaving.

The incident was captured by a surveillance camera and by one person who followed the truck off the property and onto Route 18 North.

Members of the community say the incident was clearly intended to harass them.

"By targeting a Muslim center and deliberately circling its premises repeatedly, the perpetrators expect New Jersey's Muslim community to answer to, or even feel shame for, an event that occurred entirely independent of them," said Selaedin Maksut, executive director of the NJ chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a statement.

"Anti-Muslim intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable," Maksut continued. "They mirror the tactics used against American Muslims in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks and could lead to an uptick in anti-Muslim incidents as we've seen over the past two decades."

The Mumbai attacks, which took place in Mumbai, India over the course of four days in 2008 and killed 175 people, were carried out by an Islamist terrorist organization based in Pakistan.

Saturday marked the 14th anniversary of the attacks.

CAIR and the Islamic Circle of North America's Council for Social Justice are calling on local law enforcement and the FBI to investigate and local leaders to publicly condemn the incident.

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