MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An Islamic cemetery that was initially denied a permit in suburban Minneapolis has now been vandalized.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says vandals recently entered the Al Maghfirah cemetery in Castle Rock Township and spray painted profanities and swastikas. CAIR-MN says the vandals also damaged walls, furniture and other property. One spray-painted message apparently says: "Leave, you R dead."

Last year, a court forced Castle Rock Township to issue a conditional use permit for the cemetery, finding that the township's initial decision to deny the permit was arbitrary.

CAIR-MN executive director Jaylani Hussein says the attack on the cemetery comes at a time of increasing anti-Muslim incidents nationwide. He is urging authorities to investigate it as a possible hate crime.