(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 7/11/2017) — The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) today called on Columbus and Hilliard police departments to step up investigations of a string of burglaries of Muslim businesses and is urging business owners and community members to boost security. 

One of the alleged perpetrators (see photos below) has reportedly been seen burglarizing some Muslim-owned stores after he initially offered to wash windows for a relatively low price.

Since the end of May, at least seven different establishments located throughout central Ohio, have been burglarized, with one being burglarized multiple times. Three burglaries took place just before or during the Eid ul-Fitr (“feast of the fast-breaking”) Islamic holiday between June 23 and June 25.

The dates and police report numbers for burglaries in Columbus: 5/23 and 170431239-001, 5/24 and 170437707-002, 6/3 and 170467058-001, 6/25 and 170539262-001, 6/29 and 170552046-001.

The dates and police report numbers for burglaries in Hilliard: 6/24 and 17-001510, 6/24 and 17-001512

“We encourage everyone in the community, particularly mosque leaders, to share the photographs of the alleged perpetrator and to encourage congregants to report any information about the suspect to police and to our office,” said Romin Iqbal, legal director of CAIR-Columbus. “We hope the Columbus and Hilliard Police Department will bring the perpetrators to justice. They must not be allowed to continue harming the businesses of hardworking Ohioans.”

CAIR-Columbus is asking anyone with information about the burglaries or the alleged perpetrator(s) to contact local police and to call CAIR-Columbus at 614-451-3232 or email info@columbus.cair.com.


Iqbal said CAIR-Columbus is also encouraging anyone who experiences a hate crime locally to report it immediately by filing an incident report online at www.cair-columbus.com.

CAIR-Columbus has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.

In response to that spike in hate incidents, CAIR-Columbus is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.”  The booklet can be and viewed through CAIR-Columbus’ website at: https://www.cair-columbus.com/1140-2/

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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