Two Southern California Mosques Vandalized, Investigated as Hate Crimes

By Kenrya Rankin Dec 14, 2015

Two Los Angeles County mosques were vandalized yesterday (December 13). The police and FBI are investigating both incidents as hate crimes.

Someone spray painted “Jesus is the way” on the front of the Islamic Center of Hawthorne. “That’s like if a Muslim went to a church and wrote, ‘Prophet Muhammad is the way,’” member Muhamad Awadallah told NBC 4 Los Angeles. “If he wanted to say ‘Jesus is the way,’ he could have just told us that.”

A mile away, someone painted crosses and “Jesus” on the gate and windows of the Ahmidiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque. Hawthorne officers also found what appeared to be a grenade outside the building, but—after evacuating the area—the bomb squad determined that it was a fake plastic device.

The incidents happened the day after a joint Muslim and Christian march. NBC 4 Los Angeles reports that local police are leading the investigation and the FBI is reviewing the evidence. Officers have increased patrols in the area, but attendance is down.

“I just feel really sad that I have to go out with my scarf, getting really scared because of my religion [and] feeling that I’m gonna be attacked,” a woman who didn’t want to give her name told NBC. “It just really hurts me, as we’re being judged and things are happening to our mosques all over America.”