UPDATE: Open house planned, CAIR calls for investigation into motive behind vandalism at Fargo Muslim cemetery

Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 3:46 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Islamic Society of Fargo Moorhead is hosting an open house following vandalism to its cemetery. It’s happening Saturday, November 5th, at the ISFM Mosque at 601 28th St S from 2-4 p.m.

They say everyone is welcome, adding:

In response to the vandalism at the Islamic cemetery and growing Islamophobia, the Islamic Society of Fargo Moorhead welcomes the entire community to an open house at its mosque to showcase Islam and its values. We invite you to meet your Muslim neighbors, tour the mosque, attend a talk with a special guest speaker and learn more about Islam.

The organization says the vandalism happened on October 21 at the cemetery located in the 8000 block of 25th Street S, just before a funeral. They say the concrete vaults used for burials were found destroyed, which are worth approximately $5,000 and stored in the vacant buildings on the land.

They’re also raising money to benefit its cemetery after it was vandalized. On its GoFundMe page, the organization writes:

It has become imperative that we add additional security and build a new secure building for vault storage and maintenance and that the existing structures are torn down. The cemetery has been entirely a grassroots effort by community volunteers to offer Muslims a place to bury their loved ones. The committee just recently began plans for cemetery improvements including the landscaping and graves. We hope to continue plans to offer a safe and peaceful space for families to bury and grieve their loved ones.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is also calling for an investigation into the motive behind the vandalism at a Fargo Muslim cemetery.

The incident has been reported to the Fargo Police Department.

Leaders for the organization believe there is a possible “bias motive” behind the acts.

“Given the recent incidents targeting Muslim communities in the region, we urge law enforcement authorities to consider a possible bias motive as they investigate this case. All faith communities should be able to bury their dead and carry out other aspects of their faith without fear of harassment,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.