Muslims on edge after truck with anti-Islamic imagery spotted at 2 NJ mosques

Members of New Jersey’s Muslim community say that they are worried about safety after a truck with anti-Islamic imagery was spotted driving around at least two mosques this past weekend.

News 12 Staff

Dec 1, 2022, 11:01 AM

Updated 589 days ago

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Members of New Jersey’s Muslim community say that they are worried about safety after a truck with anti-Islamic imagery was spotted driving around at least two mosques this past weekend.
The director of the New Brunswick Islamic Center shared with News 12 New Jersey surveillance video of the digital sign truck driving by the facility Saturday afternoon.
“The woman had exited the vehicle. She had taken pictures in front of the truck, as well as the center and the mosque behind it,” says Sami Catovik, the executive director of The New Brunswick Islamic Center in North Brunswick.
Catovik says that he considered this to be an odd and scary incident.
“Where a truck drove up in front of our premises with… some sort of Islamophobic messaging. So there was some issue of concern,” he says.
This was at least the second incident where this truck appeared. Another incident was at the Muslim Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway. In that incident, the truck showed images seemingly blaming Muslims for a 2008 terror attack in Mumbai, India. Saturday was the 14th anniversary of that attack.
“It’s concerning. Is it threatening? We don’t know at this point. But it’s just sad that somehow Muslims here in New Jersey are being implicated by somebody in something that transpired in another country that we have no connection with,” Catovik says.
The truck had the logo for a company called The TV Truck, which is based out of Pennsylvania. News 12 left messages and emails, which have not been returned.
The actions are being condemned by the community and investigated by North Brunswick and Piscataway police.
“I don’t know at this point if it’s considered a threat. But it’s obviously disgusting and distasteful, for lack of a better word,” says Piscataway Mayor Brian Whaler. “This is a deliberate attempt to divide communities within the state of New Jersey."
North Brunswick police have increased patrols at the center. Whaler says he is meeting with law enforcement and mosque officials there to discuss security.


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