DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for the FBI to launch a hate crime investigation after an armed suspect threw a brick or rock at a Islamic mosque, breaking three windows.
It happened at The Islamic Society of Greater Dayton during their Thursday morning prayers.
Officials say they don’t believe this was a random act of vandalism, charging that it’s clear this was an attack on their religion.
“We hope the authorities looks at it for what it is,” said Dr. Ayman Salem, the Society’s vice chairman. “We believe this is a hate crime against a minority, a hate crime against a religious entity, and a hate crime against a group of people in peace.”
Salem wants the Dayton Police Department and the FBI to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
The suspect was captured on their surveillance video system.
“We were just worshipping,” Salem said.
“He circled the masjid and when it looked like he couldn’t enter the masjid, he smashed three of the windows of the masjid. And then when he was leaving, he pointed a gun at our security cameras.”
Karen Dabdoub of Cincinnati’s Council on American-Islamic Relations is standing with the mosque in solidarity.
“This is not, we believe just a simple case of vandalism,” she said. “Imagine your own house of worship being attacked in such a way. It’s very frightening.”