Islamic Center of Davis vandalized in heinous hate crime
The Islamic Center of Davis was vandalized early last Sunday, Jan. 22, in the latest abhorrent hate crime to afflict the Davis community, smashing windows and hanging scraps of bacon hung from the door handles.
After an inauguration that culminated in an unforgettable year for America, and the world in general, it seems ringing in the new president has invoked the bigoted sentiment we all knew would abound, but had desperately hoped would not occur.
Statements from individuals — both those who attend the masjid and those who do not — spread the general disappointment and outrage that we share as the Editorial Board. To be so base as to attack a religious center that advocates for nothing but peace is truly to be the lowest of the low.
In a message to the community, Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter, Mayor Robb Davis and Adela de la Torre, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus diversity, expressed their “disgust, outrage, and sadness” over the incident and addressed that “acts and words of hatred directed toward Muslims as a group is an urgent and growing problem across our society.”
This incident not only occurred just hours after the inauguration of notoriously Islamophobic President Donald Trump, but also arrives in the wake of the campus visit of Milo Yiannopoulos, an ultra-conservative media personality who has written, among various columns outwardly offensive toward Islam, that America has a “Muslim problem.” The event, which was sponsored by the Davis College Republicans (DCR) and which was was eventually cancelled due to protests outside of the event location, sparked counter-protests and then counter-counter-protests.
The Editorial Board condemns the actions of those who committed the vandalism and sympathizes with the Islamic Center of Davis. We express our disgust at the actions that took place this past Sunday. We hope to never hear of another malicious hate crime occurring in the City of Davis in the future, but the fact remains that racist and malignant sentiment has been on the rise since the election of President Trump.
For students at a loss for how to show support and help those affected by this crime, we can offer a few suggestions. Donate to the LaunchGood campaign created by Omar Awad, a student at UC Davis and member of the Muslim Student Association, aimed at raising money to repair the damages inflicted on the mosque. In less than 48 hours, the project has raised over $20,000. Watch the surveillance video of the perpetrator and offer any information you might have to the Davis Police Department. Attend “The Davis Muslim,” a lecture series created to spread awareness of Islam on campus and the Muslim experience, presented by The Muslim Student Association in collaboration with ASUCD.
But above all, reach out to your Muslim friends and those affected by the crime — to be silent would be to accept this bigotry as commonplace.