Bigots in Flagstaff, Arizona spray-painted swastikas and set fire to a hookah lounge owned by an Iraqi-American earlier this week. Their message: “Get out.”
According to AZ Central, this week’s vandalism and arson at the Maktoob Hookah Lounge was not the first time owner Aaron Jasim has been threatened by racists. The business owner told the Arizona Daily Sun that he’s received death threats before, including a note that stated “this is not over terorist [sic].”
Jasim also told the Daily Sun that he believes a man who accosted women in his business last week and called him a “terrorist” after he kicked him out could be a suspect.
Fellow Downtown Flagstaff business owners created a GoFundMe for the cleanup of Maktoob, and so far have more than doubled their $1,000 goal.
The executive director for the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said they’ve seen rising incidents of Islamophobic hate crimes since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.
“We are continuing to see a steady rise in hate targeting Arab and Muslim communities,” CAIR-Arizona Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi said in a statement. “This disturbing increase in hate needs to be taken seriously, as our places of business and houses of worship are being threatened nationwide.”