FBI ASKED TO PROBE VANDALISM AT INDIANA MOSQUE
‘KKK’ reportedly scratched on sign, shots fired at dome, windows smashed
(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/7/06) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism at an Indiana mosque as a possible hate crime.
Officials with the Islamic Center of Michigan City (ICMC) told the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that vandals shot holes in the copper dome of the mosque, smashed a number of windows and scratched “KKK” on the center’s sign. The vandalism was discovered on Sunday, July 2. (“KKK” refers to the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group with a history of violence directed at racial and religious minorities.)
A representative of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department said the initial police report did note the broken windows and other damage, but mentioned only “scratches” on the sign. An officer will be sent to the mosque to confirm the racist graffiti.
ICMC officials say their facility is the “first chartered Islamic center in the United States.” It was established in May of 1924 and serves some 150 families.
“Given the type of vandalism reported and the growing level of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society, it is only prudent to investigate a possible bias motive in this case,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper called on the FBI to add its resources to those of local law enforcement authorities. He also said there have been a number of similar incidents targeting the American Muslim community in recent months.
Just this week, a man was charged for throwing a pig’s head into a mosque in Maine during evening prayers. Today, media reports indicate that investigators in Ohio are looking into the possibility that an arson fire and explosion at a business owned by a family of Middle East heritage was a hate crime. Last month, a hate message attacking the Prophet Muhammad and claiming “Muslims Worship Satan” was left near an Arizona mosque. In April, shots were fired into a Maryland mosque.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.