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$1,000 reward offered for info on swastika sprayed on Islamic Center

9 July 2013 General One Comment Email This Post Email This Post
A swastika was spray painted on the Islamic Center of Morris County June 21, and authorities are offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever did it.

A swastika was spray painted on the Islamic Center of Morris County June 21, and authorities are offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever did it.

By Brendan Kuty/

ROCKAWAY — Morris County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever sprayed a swastika on the Islamic Center of Morris County.

The symbol was sprayed on a glass door outside the building sometime between June 21 and 23, said Dr. Aref Assef, one of the center’s directors.

The reward was announced at a press conference involving police and local religious leaders at the center Tuesday morning.

Khurrum Ali, civil rights director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the center’s leaders wanted to call extra attention to the vandalism to head off possible future incidents.

“We do not want escalation,” he said. “Right now it was just spray paint. Tomorrow it could be something worse.”

Assef said that while he wanted police to find the culprit, he didn’t hold a grudge against whoever did it and, in fact, wanted to speak with that person.

“We are extending a hand of peace to them,” he said. “We’re not angry at them. We’re not upset with them. We hope that they recognize the error of their ways. If there’s an issue they may have with our center or our faith, our doors are wide open. But we still want them to be found and to determine the cause and the reason.”

Police Chief Douglas Scheer said detectives hope to get more or better footage from cameras at the 1 Mannino Drive building by speaking with the company that installed them.

Last Friday, police said they eliminated a “person of interest” as a suspect in the act. A woman was seen on camera at the building, but after authorities reviewed the footage and interviewed her, it was determined she was a member of the center who was reading a job advertisement on a board outside, officials have said.

Police had posted images of her on their Facebook page Thursday.

Scheer said she was the only person shown on footage the center provided police during the time frame of the vandalism. He said security video from other area businesses had also been reviewed, though he declined to say whether detectives were looking into any other persons of interest.

“This is an incident that has never occurred in our community and we want to make sure that it never happens again,” Scheer said.

Islamic center leaders are exploring improving the building’s security, Assaf said. The center doesn’t plan on changing its open-door policy — it’s never locked — anytime soon, he said. Nothing inside the building, which opened in 2010 appeared to have been vandalized, Assaf said.

“Attacks on places of worship are an affront not only to the congregation of the affected place,” he said, “but they send a far-reaching message to that entire community.”

A handful of local religious and interfaith leaders from the area gave their support to the Islamic center at the press conference. State Sen. Anthony Bucco said in a statement, read by Ali at the lectern, that “the bottom line is no one in any town should have to tolerate such divisive actions.”

Some members of the Islamic center’s congregation suggested that the symbol might have actually an been Indian or Hindu peace symbol, Assef said. But he said he didn’t see how that could be possible.

“That is not the way to convey a message of peace,” Assef said, “by vandalizing someone else’s property.”

Original post: $1,000 reward offered for info on swastika sprayed on Islamic Center

One Comment »

  1. In EDISON my synagogue had 3 swastikas PAINTED on it after Yom KIPPUR SERVICES AND IN TOTAL THERE WERE 9 SWASTIKAS PAINTED AROUND TOWN. NO ONE WAS CAUGHT. I put out a $5000 REWARD PERSONALLY. I offer to speak at the mosque about anti-SEMITISM AND HATRED AND TO SHOW MY SUPPORT FOR THEM. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg


    March 07, 2013

    I have resigned from the metuchen edison clegy association. I AM A PAST PRESIDENT. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

    HATIKVAH has been included in every service since I created interfaith holocaust services in 1974 with no objection. N0 ONE HAS EVER WALKED out, sat down OR OBJECTED until recently. With Israel and Jews being attacked throughout the world, I PERSONALLY will and have fought to keep it in. We are living in a world where anti-SEMITISM is rampant especially in Europe where JEWS ARE FLEEING IN MASS to Israel and other countries. Everyone is entitled to their OWN opinion , I stand by mine. Another Holocaust is on the horizon. A nuclear extremist muslim regime would like nothing better than the complete destruction of Israel and if you listen to Morsi all Jews should perish.
    I will be the keynote speaker at another Holocaust event that evening. I refuse to compromise my beliefs or allow the Hatikvah to be disgraced. I am taking my highway to what I believe in. Rabbi DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    —–Original Message—–
    From: chaimdov
    To: chaimdov
    Sent: Wed, Jun 5, 2013 1:59 pm
    Subject: Fwd: Good news from Muslim world

    I THERERFORE ASK THESE LEADERS TO OBTAIN AN APOLOGY FOR ME.. I recently bowed out of the interfaith Holocaust service, because it was a custom to include Hatikvah at the end, but now some Christian groups object as they support the Palestinians and the Muslim Imams would either sit or leave during the Hatikvah. Perhaps interfaith Holocaust programs no longer make sense, at least to me. I do not need the stress of seeing disrespect being afforded to Israel and nor do I wish to compromise by leaving Hatikvah out. The interfaith Holocaust memorials started as well intentioned way for the Jewish people and other groups to pause and reflect on man’s capacity to perpetuate unbelievable cruelty against his fellow and to commiserate as a group and others, with the Jews and hopefully prevent this nightmare from reoccurring .Over the years it was understandably modified to include other victims of genocidal mass killings, though these mass killings were not really analogous, as the Nazis were obsessed at not just killing Jews as a competing group, but Hitler desired to eliminate our creed and it’s pervasive influence on humanity, particularly Christian doxy. As a result of Muslim participation and twisted liberalism, this is morphing into a twisted canard where Israel is being blamed for perpetuating ethnic killings against the Palestinians as the Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. One can understand the Islamo-Nazis belief system with a quote from the Talmud. We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, CHILD OF Holocaust survivors and a refugee born in a D.P. camp.

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