As the holiest month for Muslims kicked off, one family in Butler County is fearful that their religious expression may have motivated someone to shoot at their home. A bullet narrowly missed two of the family members, according to the Cincinnati chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, an organization founded in 1994 to empower American Muslims and to protect civil rights.
The family lives in Monroe near Stone Ridge Lane, according to the Monroe Police Department.
“Family members say they may have been targeted because they displayed lights outside the house marking the month-long fast of Ramadan,” according to CAIR-Cincinnati. “Several family members also wear Islamic head scarves, or hijab.”
Josh King, a spokesman for Monroe police, said the department has “no reason to believe this is a hate crime at this point in the investigation.”
CAIR-Cincinnati urged police to consider the possibility the shooting was motivated by bias.
“We are very concerned about the marked increase in hate crimes against Muslim individuals and institutions that we have documented in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky in just the past few months, ” said Sana Hassan, a CAIR-Cincinnati staff attorney, in a statement.
A CAIR-Cincinnati news release referred to an attack on a Dayton mosque and a “hate-motivated, physical attack on a Muslim woman in Kettering.”
Police say the incident in Monroe occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Monday, the day considered by some Muslims as the first of Ramadan this year.
Multiple shots were fired in the Monroe family’s neighborhood, with one striking their house, Monroe police said. No residents were injured.
“The motive for the incident is unknown at this time,” police said.
The Muslim holy month, marked by daily fasting from dawn to sunset, ends with the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan is considered to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, according to Al Jazeera.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call police at 513-539-9234.