Campaign sign of Muslim Raleigh candidate defaced with racial slur

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A racial slur, a swastika sign, and the word "Trump" were spray painted on a sign for a 26-year-old Muslim woman running for the Raleigh City Council.

Zainab Baloch is one of the seven candidates running for two at-large seats on Raleigh's council.

"The vulgar language that was used was very traumatizing; it was hurtful," she said. "(I was) very disheartened at the hateful rhetoric that was on our camping sign. I will say that when I filed for City Council, I was very well aware that I was putting myself out in the limelight and I could be the target of some hateful attacks."

Baloch said some of her fellow candidates have reached out and offered support.

"It is so important to have diverse voices in government that are representing all people," she added.

The discovery was made by a construction crew Friday morning at 5520 Louisburg Road, where a mosque and Muslim youth community center is being built.

Her mother, Sabina Tareen, met ABC11 at the site and said the findings are disturbing.

"She is an American," Tareen said. "She is born and raised here, and she cares about her community, but this very disturbing."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, spoke out against the "hateful" vandalism.

"This type of hate incident seeks to prevent positive civic engagement by all our nation's citizens, thereby undermining the very foundation of democracy," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Americans across the political spectrum must condemn this hate-filled act of intimidation."

The Muslim American Public Affairs Council (MAPAC) also issued a statement that deemed the act cowardice.

"The Muslim American Public Affairs Council condemns in the strongest term this act of vandalism against the Raleigh City Council at-large candidate Zainab Balouch. While this cowardly act is not indicative of the Raleigh community as a whole, we consider it a frontal assault on our democratic values, political process, and the constitutional rights of all Americans. To preserve our peaceful and tolerant tradition and solidarity, we ask all community leaders, religious and non-religious institutions, law enforcement, and politicians to join MAPAC in condemning this type of hate crime."
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.