A 14-year-old girl who left an offensive message on loose-leaf paper on an Iraqi refugee family’s door in Dundalk is in big trouble – with her parents, that is. Police say the gesture was offensive, but not a criminal act.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations posted a picture of the note online today and said it wants state and federal authorities to follow up on the Oct. 14 incident.
The note reads, “Terrorist / Leave / No one wants you here,” followed by, “Your kind is a disgrace.” It follows with the appalling phrases, “9/11 was your fault,” and “take that s**t off your head,” surrounding a crude rendition of a woman wearing a hijab and holding a cartoon-style bomb.
Needless to say, the family was upset. One of its members flagged down a Baltimore County police officer on patrol that afternoon and told him about the note. Police eventually found the perpetrator: A 14-year-old girl who lives in the same building. After speaking with her and her parents, police say they were “cooperative and assured officers that they would handle the matter at home.”
The girl told police she made the note because two of the children living there “cursed at her and made offensive gestures.”
In the end, police did not charge the teen with any crime. They later gave the family some materials about religious bias and, after following up earlier today, found there had been no other issues.
CAIR, however, points out that this incident is serious and is part of a national trend. Even locally, in Windsor Mill on the other side of the county, a family was forced from their apartment this summer after a series of break-ins. They arrived at their apartment on one occasion to find an object had been set on fire on their stove. On other occasions, they found their walls scribbled upon with hateful messages.
As for the Iraqi family in the Dundalk incident, CAIR Maryland Outreach Coordinator Zainab Chaudry said in a statement that it is “disturbing” they are being singled out “as they seek to build a better life in America.”
Ethan McLeod is an associate editor with Baltimore Fishbowl.
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