Northern Calif. police investigate possible anti-Muslim hate crimes

Anti-Muslim hate crimes
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SACRAMENTO -- Police in Sacramento are investigating two possible hate crimes against Muslims.

An image circulated around the community Saturday showing a Quran filled with bacon that was burned and handcuffed to a fence at the largest mosque in the state's capital.

On Friday night, pages ripped from a Quran were thrown outside the Islamic Center of Davis, California and picked up by worshippers during Ramadan prayers.

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It's the third time the mosque has been targeted since the 2016 presidential election.

A woman was seen vandalizing the center in January.

In November, the mosque was one of several that received a letter calling Muslims vile and filthy. It also praised then president-elect Donald Trump, saying, "He's going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews."

"We don't think it's a coincidence that this surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes happened at the very moment that Donald Trump came to the forefront, normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry, and has emboldened individuals to go after Muslim neighbors," says Albert Cahn, ‎legal director at New York's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"This is as clear as using a swastika or using a burning cross. This is meant as a symbol of hate, it is meant as a symbol of intimidation, and when it is done to a mosque during the height of Ramadan, during prayers, the message is clear. These people wanted to instill fear. They wanted to harass, and that message has no place in this country," Cahn says.

In response to the increase in attacks, CAIR has created a civil rights mobile application where minority groups can report assaults as they happen. As for the Sacramento and Davis incidents, they are both being investigated as hate crimes.