Graffiti found on Somali-American family's Rochester homeby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Muslim civil-rights advocates are asking the FBI to investigate graffiti spray-painted onto the home of a Somali-American family in Rochester.
The word "KKK" and a swastika were sprayed on the side of the house in black paint.
Ayan Hilowle's parents and siblings live there. Vandals have targeted her family's house twice before, said Hilowle, 24. Over the past few years, someone destroyed the family's mailbox and shot at the house with a paint gun.
But this time, Hilowle said there's no doubt in her mind that the vandals struck because her family is Somali and Muslim.
"Anytime that kind of symbol is written on somebody's house, I think it should be considered a hate crime," Hilowle said. "We don't know what's next, and we don't want to know what's next. We just want this to be over with and scare those people away and hopefully get whoever did this."
Hilowle said her 16-year-old brother was the first in the family to notice the graffiti. She said the hateful messages make her worry about the safety of her younger siblings and her own kids.
"It's not a good feeling to have that all over your house, and it makes you feel like you're alone in the neighborhood," she said. "But we've gotten a lot of support from the neighbors and everyone else, so it's a good feeling now."
Neighbors banded together and helped scrub away the paint. Hilowle's family has lived in the house since 2007.
Hilowle said Rochester police have no leads.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations is asking the FBI to investigate it as a hate crime.