Vandals hit Downriver mosque twice within a week

Vandals hit Downriver mosque twice within a week

Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News

Brownstown Township — Police are investigating two incidents of vandalism that happened within a week at a local mosque.

Windows were broken and doors were smashed at the Masjid Umar-bin-Khattab Mosque on May 9 and again on Saturday, with the second attack caught on videotape, said spokesman Muhammad Khan.

“You can see five young persons on the recording,” Khan said.

“They broke a number of windows. We think it might be the same people who attacked the mosque earlier in the week. This is the first time we’ve had a problem in 10 or 15 years.”

Khan is hoping the attack wasn’t motivated by religious bigotry.

“We made a report to the police and they told us that 10 cars in another subdivision had their windows broken out the same night the mosque was attacked,” Khan said.

“It might just be people who were out vandalizing everyone. I don’t think it’s a hate crime or anything like that.”

But Khan said the mosque — which has about 500 members — is going to expand its video security system this week just in case.

Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) director Dawud Walid said he has spoken to the FBI about the two incidents.

“It’s hoped that they will follow up with the police,” Walid said.

“There have been reports around the country regarding threats against mosques after the Times Square incident. I don’t know if there is any connection or if this is a backlash situation.

“But we feel two cases of vandalism in a week deserves serious attention and for it to be investigated as a potential crime motivated by bias.”


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