Vandalism At Manassas Mosque Prompts Calls For Hate Crime Investigation | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Vandalism At Manassas Mosque Prompts Calls For Hate Crime Investigation

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The Manassas Mosque has been vandalized and Muslim leaders say it might be a hate crime.

According to Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs, a security guard found the yellow paint at the mosque Tuesday morning.

"Somebody took what appears to be a can of yellow paint and sprayed all over the doors and windows of the mosque and put obscenities. And the Imam of the mosque tells me they apparently tried to break in and shattered a glass door," he says.

Hooper says the obscenities aren't distinctly anti-Muslim. He says his group is still reaching out to local law enforcement to investigate a possible bias motive for the vandalism.

"Anytime you have vandalism targeting any house of worship, you have to have the possibility of a biased motive during the investigation and that's all we're asking for at this point... because it's a house of worship, because of all the things that are happening around the world," he explains.

Abu Nahidian is the imam at the Manassas Mosque. He describes how he felt when he first saw the yellow paint and obscenity covering the outside of the building: "Sad that why people do not understand that if someone vandalizes the mosque and eight windows and a door... what did I do wrong to you? What part of my behavior was disliking you that you dislike me. Where did I hate you that you hate me? So it hurt me as the prayer leader of our community."

Nahidian says the mosque has gotten anonymous angry phone calls for a long time, but they were getting so bad and so frequent that he decided to block all unknown callers last month. He says the mosque was also vandalized three years ago.

"I cleaned it up very fast so that the community would not become dismayed to say our religion is under attack. But it has been happening continuously," he says.

Prince William County police say they are investigating the incident at this time.

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