Whoever broke into the home of the Pakistani family stole more than $25,000 worth of gold and their green cards, tore up their ornate Quran, and scrawled “F*** Muslims” on their wall.
The husband and wife who live in the apartment complex in the Huntington section of Fairfax County told local reporters that they had left for the weekend when the incident took place. On Monday, they got a call at 9:30 a.m. from their building manager telling them that a worker who entered the apartment to perform maintenance work had found the graffiti and the damage.
The names of the family members who are the victims in this terrible incident are being protected as Fairfax County police investigate further. All we know is that the wife goes by Mahrukh while the husband's first name is Shoaib.
This isn't the first time locals have seen their properties vandalized by seemingly prejudiced and hateful individuals.
According to Patch, the number of bias incidents in Fairfax County has gone from 60 in 2015 to 83 in 2016. Earlier in March, a Falls Church mosque received an envelope that read “Kill all Muslims,” and last month, a Jewish school in the region had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim civil rights organization, this incident should be investigated as a hate crime.
Spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper issued a statement saying that “[w]hat may have begun as a break-in clearly ended as a possible hate crime.”
“The message of hate left at the scene and the damage done to religious texts indicate the need to investigate a bias-motive for this crime,” he concluded.
Data compiled last year shows that cases of vandalism against Muslim Americans is a reality across the country.
As this incident is reported in Virginia, near where the center of American politics is located and where a great deal of the population is comprised of immigrants, we must start questioning whether the divisive rhetoric used by many, including the president, isn't having a severe effect here in the United States.