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Vandalism of California mosque triggers call for hate crime probe

via Council on American-Islamic Relations

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    A mosque in Tracy, California, fell victim to vandals on New Year’s Eve.

    The incident, which was caught on surveillance video, occurred at the Tracy Islamic Center on West Larch Road.

    The video reportedly shows a suspect throwing a large rock through one of the mosque’s windows. 

    Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley/Central California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV/CC), has urged authorities to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

    “Because a house of worship was targeted by this act of vandalism, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this troubling incident, to conduct a swift and thorough investigation and to bring appropriate charges when a suspect is apprehended,” Elkarra said in a statement. “Despite these types of attacks, we will work to create safe places for Muslims and all other faith communities.”

    via Council on American-Islamic Relations

    Mosques, among other places of worship, were frequent targets of crimes last year. 

    In September, a mosque in south Minneapolis suffered damages amounting to more than $50,000 after a burglary and vandalism incident.

    In October, five concrete vaults used in burials were destroyed at a Muslim cemetery in North Dakota. Leaders believe the incident was a “pre-planned hate crime.”

    CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions. 

    The organization published a booklet titled “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which details the risks and vulnerabilities faced by the Muslim community, as well as solutions available to them.

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