Anti-Islam "hate graffiti" was found spray-painted this week on a Muslim grave at a cemetery in Evergreen Park, Ill., a local group has discovered.
The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said an area Palestinian American man saw the graffiti while paying respects to his deceased father. The graffiti includes the words "Raghaed Killer," according to CAIR, and insults to the prophet Muhammad.
CAIR-Chicago, a chapter of a U.S. Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, said the cemetery holds at least 500 Muslim graves. The defacing was reported to cemetery officials and police, and the group said CAIR attorneys are following up on the case with Evergreen Park's mayor, Cook County state's attorney and the FBI.
Evergreen Park Police told NBC Chicago one gravestone was targeted and has been defaced several times before.
"It should disturb every American that this is happening in 2012," said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab in a statement. "Are we moving forward or regressing? No one should have to live in fear of being harassed, shot, bombed, injured, or killed simply because of their faith, race or ethnicity."
The group plans to join other religious leaders for a “White Balloon Protest” at 5 p.m. Friday at the southeast corner of Congress and Michigan in Chicago "to highlight the recent disturbing spike of violent attacks targeting minority communities in Chicagoland and across the United States."
In a separate incident last week, a Morton Grove man was accused of firing an air-powered rifle toward a mosque while worshippers were celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. He was held on $45,000 bond, ordered to attend anger-management classes and was placed on electronic monitoring should he be released from jail.