The Madera Islamic Center in central California has been vandalized several times over the last few days, and the Madera County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incidents as hate crimes, according to The Fresno Bee.
Menacing signs have been left on the property, and a brick nearly smashed a window at the center on Sunday, the Bee reports. The signs claim to be from a group called the “American Nationalist Brotherhood” — and appear to reference the controversy over a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan.
Among the signs were one that read “Wake up America, the enemy is here” and “No temple for the god of terrorism at Ground Zero.”
Some local Muslims worry that talk radio hosts who have repeatedly invited callers to express their anger about the New York controversy are fanning flames of intolerance — and putting their families in danger.
“It’s hate talk on the radio,” said Dr. Mohammad Ashraf, a Madera cardiologist who is Muslim. “It’s everywhere — not only in Madera. [It’s in] San Diego, Kentucky, Tennessee.”
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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com