Hate crime investigation sought into Iowa mosque vandalism
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A national Muslim civil rights group is calling for state and federal hate crime investigations into the vandalism last week of a northeastern Iowa mosque captured on the building’s security cameras.
The video shows what appears to be a middle-aged woman vandalizing the Al-Noor Islamic Community Center in Waterloo on the evening of Dec. 28, the Courier reported. The video shows the woman first using snow to draw crosses — a widely recognized Christian symbol — on the mosque’s windows before graduating to scrawling profanities aimed at Islam and Muslims on the mosque’s walls using some type of oil-based substance.
On Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling for local, state and federal authorities to launch their own hate crime investigations into the vandalism.
“This latest vandalism of an American mosque demonstrates the real-world dangers of anti-Muslim bigotry,” CAIR Deputy Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said in the statement.
Al-Noor Imam Ahmed Abouzid said he’s more interested in educating the woman and others about Islam.
“Do you think that we don’t like Jesus? We like Jesus,” Abouzid told the Courier. “We are not an enemy of you.”
In Christianity, Jesus is revered as the son of God. Jesus is considered a venerated prophet of God in Islam.