There has been an outpouring of support for a Muslim family in Troy, Maine who have been singled out because of their religion, including a “sizable donation” from a local business.
The benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he read about what happened at Five Pillars Butchery in Troy and was disappointed and saddened that someone might have targeted the family because of their faith.
“I wanted them to know that there are people around here who care that they’re here,” he said.
Kathryn Piper and Hussam Al Rawi, who own a halal butchery business, woke up one morning in April to see that someone apparently had fired a shotgun at their brand new sign, they were frightened.
The sign was located just feet from the home they share with their children, 3 years old Hammoudi, and 15 months old Thurayya. It was peppered with eight holes. Police believe that the damage likely was caused by a shotgun loaded with buckshot, and the couple feared that it was not a coincidence that they had been targeted.
The couple expressed their gratitude to the donor as well as to the many others who have come by their business, sent them emails or posted on the their business’s Facebook page to show support.
“I really want people to know how grateful we are for the outreach and we truly appreciate everyone’s words of comfort,” said Kathryn Piper. “We knew there would be support for us and we wanted to show whoever did this that they’re alone, not us.”
“I know this is not Maine,” Al-Rawi said of the shooting. “I move all the day and I see people, and I love people around here. They are friendly. They are caring. They are polite.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, sent a report Wednesday, April 11, to the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office after being contacted by Al Rawi and Piper, asking that during their probe they try to determine whether the person acted with bias when shooting at the sign.
“We’re not certain it was motivated by bias, but the timing is strange,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director, said April 11. “The wife wears an Islamic head scarf. I’m not aware of any other Muslim families in the area. It happened just an hour after he finished putting up the sign. All these things lead to the need to at least investigate the possibility that there was a bias motive.”
Hooper added that he thinks this could be representative of what CAIR sees as an overall rise in Islamophobia nationwide since President Donald Trump began his 2016 campaign for the presidency.