Los Angeles | Two mosques have been vandalised with paint in the US state of California in the latest in a series of episodes of arson at Muslim houses of worship in the past few days, prompting the FBI to open a hate crimes investigation.
Worshippers who arrived on Sunday morning at the Islamic Center of Hawthorne found the words ‘Jesus is the way’ spray-painted on the building, said Christopher Port, a spokesman for the Hawthorne Police Department, CBS news reported.
The word Jesus was also spray-painted in white on an outer wall of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque in Hawthorne, he said, adding an object resembling a hand grenade was found in its driveway.
The object was found to be a plastic replica, Police and the FBI were investigating the vandalism on Saturday night as hate crimes. The vandalism in Hawthorne came two days after a person was was arrested in nearby Riverside County and charged with arson, hate crime and burglary after the police said he set fire to a mosque, the Islamic Society of Coachella Valley.
The mosque is about 75 miles from San Bernardino, where a Pakistani-origin couple who federal officials say were inspired by Islamist extremists opened indiscriminate firing on fire December 2 at a holiday luncheon and killed 14 people.
Two days before the fire in Coachella, the police in Buena Park, California, opened a hate crimes investigation after a Sikh temple was vandalised. Expletive-laced graffiti was sprayed on walls in the parking lot of the temple, Gurdwara Singh Sabha, as well as on a tractor-trailer parked there.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, told New York Times said the country had experienced an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents since the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.