Middlesex County News

South Brunswick: Muslim Rights Group Want Probe Of BOE Candidate’s Sign Vandalism

Board of Education member Azra Baig calls police about vandalism to her election signs in September. Credits: Charles W. Kim photo
Credits: Submitted photo
Credits: Submitted photo

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A Muslim rights group is calling for a state or federal investigation relating to the vandalism of election signs belonging to Board of Education member Azra Baig.

In a press release Wednesday, the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) asked state and federal law enforcement to investigate graffiti left on several of her election lawn signs during the recent campaign.

Baig won her second three-year term on the board Tuesday.

Sign Up for E-News

Several lawn signs for Baig near South Brunswick High School on Ridge Road were vandalized between Sept. 26 and Oct. 21 while she ran for office.

Graffiti with slogans such as “ISIS sympathizer,” “ISIS” and “rag head,” were discovered on the signs during that time.

Baig said she immediately reported the incident to local police who said they are continuing to investigate the vandalism.

“This kind of hate speech serves to reinforce negative stereotypes and cast a shadow of suspicion and doubt over all Muslims”, CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues said in the release. “We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime.”

The incidents come during one of the most divisive and charged presidential election cycles in modern memory.

Republican Donald Trump, who won the office on Tuesday against Democrat Hillary Clinton, ran a controversial campaign that, among other things, called for a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the country until they can be thoroughly vetted due to terror attack concerns.

Clinton called the “Muslim ban” “Islamophobia” and racist.

“Unfortunately, these past months have seen a level of divisiveness and rancor that should be intolerable for anyone in a civilized society”, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, said in the release.  “There is no circumstance where we can be willing to accept the racism, sexism, xenophobia and religious intolerance that has permeated throughout this past election cycle.  Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong as one community and put aside our differences so that we may all do the hard work required to ensure an even brighter tomorrow for our country’s future generation.”

Mayor Frank Gambatese said that the incidents are not representative of the diverse township.

“I am extremely disappointed in what happened to Ms. Azra Baig’s campaign signs”, Gambatese said.  “We are very proud of Ms. Baig and her service to the community.  This is not who we are in South Brunswick.”

Baig also said that the incidents surprised her and are not the experience she has had living in the community and serving on the board.

“These criminal actions do not represent any part of the wonderful community of South Brunswick, NJ and the warmth and kindness of everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting with” Baig said.  “I am grateful to the community for their support of my re-election and I am grateful for the efforts of the South Brunswick Police Department for their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329-4000, extension7460.

(Editor’s Note: Azra Baig also freelances for TAPinto South Brunswick and Cranbury. We were also made aware of the vandalism early on by Baig, but decided not to publish any report until after the election on Tuesday.)

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net and support local news.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Fri, February 23

Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains

Raffle for 4 tickets to "Frozen" on Broadway

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Rabbi Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child

February 19, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Aryeh Goodman, 35, the rabbi from the  East Brunswick Chabad Learning Center has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was one of thirty men charged with having sex with the teenager over a four-week period.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, Goodman ...

New Brunswick Prisoner Reentry Site to Open Tuesday

February 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who has made prisoner reentry programs his major focus, will be on hand Tuesday to open a new site on Livingston Avenue. 

McGreevey runs the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals. The opening is set for 11 a.m. at  57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J.

All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Breakfast Supporting Edison Boy Scouts Troop 12

February 21, 2018

Edison Boy Scouts Troop 12 is hosting its annual All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Breakfast at the Edison Elks Lodge #2487 (375 Old Post Road, Edison) from 8 AM to 12 PM on Sunday, March 4th. Tickets are $7 and are available at the Elks door Sunday morning. You can also purchase tickets online for $8 or make a donation at www.troop12edison.org/p/store.html.

The event — featuring pancakes, sausage, ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...