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On Tuesday, March 11, the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park was subject to an attack while worshippers were praying. Police say a 15-year-old from Villa Park and a 16-year-old from Lombard struck and damaged a mosque window with a metal baseball bat. The two teenagers have been charged with committing a hate crime and criminal damage to property.
The attack is one of series of attacks on the Islamic Foundation. It occurred in an atmosphere of war that is poisoned with racism, national chauvinism, and xenophobia. It is one of many acts of anti-Muslim bigotry that have occurred around the country. This anti-Islamic bigotry has been fomented by the Bush administration, which has incarcerated Muslims without criminal charges.
Because of the March 11 attack, the Islamic Foundation has hired the DuPage County Sheriff's Department to provide two squad cars to protect children at the Islamic School–-at a cost of $30 per car per hour.
The Chicago Branch of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression urges its members and supporters and all decent-minded people to condemn the attack on the Islamic Foundation and express their solidarity with its members. Messages of solidarity can be sent to the Islamic Foundation at 300 W Highridge, Villa Park, IL 60181.
The response from the community has already been heartening. A junior high confirmation class at the nearby St. Paul Lutheran Church has taken up a collection to replace the window that was damaged. Three girls and about 15 classmates have raised $335 to replace the $500 window.
Another group, the Rapid Response Network, is encouraging people to send checks to the Islamic Foundation to help cover the costs of providing protection for children at the Islamic School ($15.00 for one squad car for half an hour, $60 for one hour of protection, or whatever one can afford). They are also asking people to contact the president and other members of the Villa Park village board and ask that they pass a resolution condemning the attack on the Islamic Foundation and affirming freedom of religion and diversity.
(Rae Rupp Srch is President of the Village Board. Trustees are: Joyce Daly, Richard Illian, Larry Dean, Mary Murphy, Joyce Stupegia, and James Trepanier, Jr.. Address: Village of Villa Park, 20 S. Ardmore Avenue, Villa Park, Illinois 60181. 630-834-8500). Finally, they are urging people to contact the Villa Park police to thank them for their investigation of the incident and to urge them to do everything they can to ensure the safety of the Foundation and its members (Villa Park Police Dept., 11 W Home Ave, Villa Park, IL. 630-834-7447).
The Chicago Branch of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression urges everyone to support these efforts.
National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression/ Chicago Branch 1325 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 105 Chicago, Illinois 60605 Phone: (312) 939-2750 Web: http://www.naarpr.org/
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