PHRC condemns vandalism at Philadelphia mosque


PHRC condemns vandalism at Philadelphia mosque

Harrisburg, PA- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) condemns the vandalism that occurred this week at the United Muslim Islamic Center in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia.

According to news reports, sometime overnight between Wednesday, October 18 and Thursday, October 19, someone targeted the mosque, writing hateful words and symbols on the windows and doors.

"These are troubling times in our world, and emotions are running high," said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "It is unsettling to see these acts of discrimination and hate. As Pennsylvania's top civil rights enforcement agency, the PHRC condemns this act of vandalism, and all acts of Islamophobia. Hate has no place in our commonwealth or our country. No one should ever feel afraid to enter a religious building or practice a type of religion. We support every citizen of Pennsylvania and their right to practice their religion free of discrimination and hate."

"It is deeply upsetting anytime we see a place of worship targeted," said Joel Bolstein, PHRC Chair. "Religious institutions serve as community safe havens for so many and they should feel safe and secure when entering. In Pennsylvania, our laws protect all citizens from discrimination based on religious creed. PHRC will continue to denounce any acts of discrimination or hate."

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, there has been an increase of incidents against Muslims since the escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza.

If you are the victim of a hate crime, such as assault or property damage, contact your local police department or the Pennsylvania State Police. Pennsylvania has Hate Crime and Ethnic Intimidation laws that protect and support victims. The PHRC does not charge or investigate hate crimes or criminal offenses. However, the PHRC can determine if an act of hate also violates the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. To report an act of discrimination or file a complaint, contact PHRC by calling 717-787-4410. For more information and resources visit


PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media