Two California mosques vandalized in new ‘hate crimes’
Police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are probing fresh “hate crimes” against two mosques in California.
Police officials in Hawthorne, California said Sunday that a pair of mosques were “defaced” by vandals overnight.
Worshippers, who arrived at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salam Mosque for the morning prayer, were shocked to see walls spray-painted by vandals, who had also left a possible explosive device at the scene.
They called the police, who found what at first appeared to be a hand grenade. The area was cordoned off by the cops but the device was later on determined to be a fake and therefore harmless.
The attack happened amid Muslim worries of a surge in Islamophobia following the recent San Bernardino, California attack that left 14 people killed and 21 others injured in what became known as the deadliest mass shooting in the US in three years.
Only hours after news broke that the two alleged Daesh sympathizers who were behind the attacks had Muslim names, American Muslims strongly condemned the incident, but this did not stop the US mainstream media from going on a rampage against Muslims and Islam.
“This type of behavior is born out of ignorance and fear and we as members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community … we respond with peaceful dialogue,” Ahsan M Khan, a chapter president of the community, said.
“It’s through peaceful dialogue that we can hopefully see less of this type of hate crime,” said Khan, who participated in a vigil on December 4 to condemn the mass shooting.
A short while later, police responded to a similar crime at the Islamic Center mosque in Hawthorne, where vandals had defaced the front wall of the building.
The FBI is investigating both incidents as “hate crimes.”
The hateful moves come on the heels of a Friday arson attack, where a 23-year-old was arrested in connection to a fire at the Islamic Center of Palm Springs.
A mosque in Philadelphia was also vandalized last week when according to surveillance footage, a red truck drove past the al-Aqsa mosque and one of its passengers threw a severed pig’s head at it.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said this week that mosques and Islamic centers in the US have been facing the highest record of threats, harassment and vandalism this year.