Tags: california | mosques | vandalized | graffiti | hand grenade

California Mosques Vandalized: FBI Investigating as Hate Crimes

Image: California Mosques Vandalized: FBI Investigating as Hate Crimes
(CNN)

By    |   Monday, 14 Dec 2015 01:03 PM

Two California mosques were vandalized Sunday with graffiti and a replica hand grenade was left at one of the locations, prompting a hate crimes investigation by the Hawthorne Police Department and the FBI.

Authorities were called to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque Sunday morning and found the word "Jesus" spray-painted in white along the front fence of the property, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's bomb squad was called out to examine what appeared to be a hand grenade left in the driveway of the facility, but it was later determined to be a plastic replica, authorities said.

According to NBC Los Angeles, authorities were also called to the Islamic Center of Hawthorne a few blocks away after someone found the words "Jesus is the way" spray painted on the front wall of the facility.

"Really? We just had a peaceful march yesterday and somebody comes and tags up on the wall," Muhamad Awadallah, who took a recording of the vandalism, said in the clip. "That's like if a Muslim went to a church and wrote, 'Prophet Muhammad is the way. If he wanted to say 'Jesus is the way,' he could have just told us that."

The two vandalism incidents come just days after a mosque in Coachella Valley was set on fire. A 23-year-old suspect was taken into custody Friday in that case, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The Santa Clara, California, and Washington, D.C., office buildings that house the Council on American-Islamic Relations were both evacuated Thursday after workers received threatening letters along with a powdery substance, spokeswoman Ojaala Ahmad told the Times.

All of these recent incidents come on the heels of the San Bernardino shooting that killed 14 people and injured 21 earlier this month. The shootings were carried out by husband-and-wife Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, both of whom authorities say had been radicalized.

"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, according to Al Jazeera.

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Two California mosques were vandalized Sunday with graffiti and a replica hand grenade was left at one of the locations, prompting a hate crimes investigation by the Hawthorne Police Department and the FBI.
california, mosques, vandalized, graffiti, hand grenade
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2015-03-14
Monday, 14 Dec 2015 01:03 PM
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