MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says it’s calling on federal authorities to investigate the arson of a Somali restaurant in North Dakota as a hate crime.
In a press release Wednesday, CAIR-MN said it has asked the FBI to look into the intentionally-set fire at the Juba Coffee House in Grand Forks.
“We call on federal authorities to investigate this attack as a hate crime and urge local law enforcement to increase patrols around mosques within their jurisdiction,” Jaylani Husse, the executive director of CAIR-MN, said in a statement. “The lives of American Muslims have been placed in danger by the rising anti-Muslim hysteria in our nation and by the inflammatory rhetoric used by a number of national public figures.”
According to the Grand Forks Herald, the fire started early Tuesday morning, and local fire officials determined it was intentionally set. While no one was injured in the blaze, it did cause an estimated $90,000 in damage.
The fire comes just days after someone vandalized the Juba Coffee Housebuilding, spray-painting Nazi imagery on an exterior wall along with the words “go home.”
Officials have not determined if the vandalism and the arson are connected.