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ROCKVILLE – The Rockville City Police are investigating a swastika painted on a wall at Richard Montgomery High School. Police are investigating the finding of a swastika in bright-orange spray paint on a wall of the school building on Jan. 18. Richard Montgomery administrators contacted parents and students in an email on Jan. 22 to […]

MC Republicans place a sign on their front law disavowing hate signs pasted on their front door 1

MC Republicans place a sign on their front law disavowing hate signs pasted on their front door 1

Local Republicans place a sign on their front lawn disavowing hate signs pasted on their front door. COURTESY PHOTO  Although Montgomery County Police say they are investigating the posting of white supremacist fliers on the front door of the Montgomery County Republican Party headquarters as an act of vandalism, MCGOP Central Committee Chairman Richard Jurgena says the posting of those fliers is a hate crime against Republicans by those who aim to smear them as racists.

“It is indeed an act to smear our party with an implication that we support the beliefs of the posters, which we definitely do not believe in or support in any way,” Jurgena said. “We believe this was a hate crime.”

Late Saturday evening around 10:00 p.m. security footage recorded two individuals approaching the front door of the GOP office on Crabbs Branch Way with what appeared to be a jar containing a liquid mixture and white paper posters.

A photo provided by Jurgena shows four posters bearing the logo of the Patriots’ Front – a white supremacist group – as well as the address of the Bloodandsoil.com website attached to the office’s entrance. The website accessible at the Bloodandsoil.com address features a manifesto that appears to be consistent with white supremacist views.

CHEVY CHASE — An energized group of concerned residents, law enforcement, and members of civil rights organizations filled the Jane E. Lawton Community Center on Wednesday night, Sept. 27, gathering for a public forum to discuss the rising number of hate incidents in the community.

The attendees were given information about what to do in the event they or their families are confronted with a hate or bias incident.

Joel Rubin, a member of the Chevy Chase Town Council, moderated the forum. Rubin organized the gathering in reaction to anti-Semitic fliers that had recently been placed outside the front doors of several houses in the usually quiet neighborhood.

“What do you do when hate comes to your town?” Rubin asked in his opening remarks. “This is something I don’t think anyone here in our community expected, and because of that we thought it would be important to have a community discussion about the question of hate in our community.”

Representatives from the County police, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and the Anti-Defamation League urged everyone who attended a Hate Crime Prevention Forum on Monday to take pictures and call police every time they see any incidents of hate, no matter how minor the incident.

“Everyone’s got a phone. Record it,” urged County Police Chief Tom Manger. Send a message that hate is not welcome here, he said.

“We need help from citizens so we can get in front of it before it becomes a crime,” added Gordon Johnson, special agent from the Baltimore office of the FBI.

SILVER SPRING – While anti-Islamic hate crimes have risen nationally in recent years, the members of the Muslim Community Center on New Hampshire Avenue say they feel as welcome in Montgomery County as they have since the center opened in 1976.

The center was the brainchild of several Montgomery County residents who, at the time, attended the Islamic Center of Washington on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., and were interested in starting a community center to service the county. Sajjad Durrani, a founder of the center who still serves on its board of trustees, recalls that the center received support from the community during its construction. 

“When we applied for a permit, there was a public hearing with the County, of course,” Durrani said. “Many people around here came to the hearing to support us, which made a big impression on us. During construction, the church next door allowed us to use their power and brought water over to us.”

SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-1) came to the Muslim Community Center as part of MCC’s Community Education Series to address members’ concerns regarding hate crimes in the area after the MCC received a threatening letter in late February.           

“This is a time and a conversation that I never thought I’d have in my lifetime,” Berliner said.  “For those of us who believe in government and the goodness of our people, this has been a particularly challenging time … if you don’t feel welcome in Montgomery County, then we’ve failed you.”

WASHINGTON – Community leaders and representatives of D.C. government shared messages of encouragement and of community support at a public forum on anti-Semitic hate crimes at the Washington Hebrew Congregation Thursday.

Each speaker gave words of encouragement to the group of more than 100 people who attended the town hall.

Rev. Thomas L. Bowen, director of religious affairs for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, attended to represent the mayor’s office.

“I am here because our mayor is concerned about what happens in our city,” he said.

SILVER SPRING –The staff of the Muslim Community Center invited the public to a panel discussion held on the center grounds Tuesday night on “How to oppose hate in our communities.” The discussion focused on ways to respond to hate crimes, combat negative stereotypes of various groups as well as resistance to troubling policies, such as President Trump’s recently-overturned ban on traveling to seven Muslim majority countries and proposed mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.