Sign vandalized at Central Texas Muslim community event

A Central Texas Muslim community says they're not backing down after a vandal targeted one of their events in Bastrop. 

During the event, someone defaced a sign directing people where to go with obscene words and symbols.

“It's concerning when it happens anywhere because somebody was triggered by the two words on the sign it's either Muslim or space,” said Muslim Space executive director Shadia Igram.

The group was finishing up the event for Ramadan in a gated community when they noticed something was off. 

“Everything was great, we had a great event and just upon leaving I stopped, pulled over to grab the sign and I notice it wasn't standing where I left it,” said Igram.

In three hours, a sign with two words and an arrow telling people where to turn was defaced. 

“I was a little deflated when I read that, threw it in my car and headed home,” said Igram. 

According to Igram, they have had no problems at this venue in the past or with Bastrop in general. This is the first incident to happen at one of their events. 

“We're mainly based here in Austin, we started about 18 months ago as a way to serve the American Muslim identity, meaning we hold prayer services and faith programming and service events social gatherings in a way that is very familiar with folks who identify as American Muslims,” said Igram.

This incident comes a month after an arson attempt at the North Austin Muslim Community Center. 

“I look over my shoulder at every event that we host because we know that this stuff happens and we know we are not immune to it whether we're in Austin or in Bastrop,” said Igram.”It can happen to any of us because seeing Muslim or Islam is a trigger for folks.”

Despite what happened, spirits are high. 

“These types of acts they are ineffective they might instill a little bit of fear disappointment and maybe a little bit of anger and frustration but what happens is our circle of supporters and allies grows so the hate is not going to win,” said Igram. 

For now, Igram says they will continue to host events.

The Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is pushing for this to be looked at as a hate crime.