CHICAGO (CBS) — Police in the western suburbs were trying to determine who is behind a website meant to look as if it represents the Islamic Center of Wheaton, but actually promotes suspicion, lies, and violence.
“The fake website was posted online with a radical twist to it,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Rehab said the Islamic Center of Wheaton, a mosque and community center at 900 E. Geneva Rd., is a peaceful place of worship for Muslims, but a copycat website wants people to think otherwise.
The site, which has a similar domain name to the real Islamic Center of Wheaton website, advocates violence, claims Shariah law is coming to the Chicago area, and praises those responsible for the Paris terror attacks and the shooting massacre in San Bernardino, California. It also has photos of children carrying automatic weapons and the flag of the Islamic State.
“It’s coming from a very radical anti-Muslim agenda,” Rehab said. “It looks as if it’s the mosque’s website, when it’s not, and so it could potentially cause someone to see the mosque as this ISIS implant, and then go after the mosque in sort of vigilante action.”
It’s unclear who created the fake ICW website, but Rehab said whoever did it clearly is against interfaith harmony.
“The website also goes clearly in the direction of berating those Christians who engage Muslims in interfaith dialogue, so it seems to me to be coming from within the radical elements of the larger Christian community that see Christian outreach to Muslims as problematic,” he said.
Wheaton police were investigating, and CAIR officials said they would ask the FBI to investigate as well.