Bluestem is dismayed to read More damage at Islamic center sparks fear, an article posted at the St. Cloud Times late this afternoon.
Kirsti Marohn and Dave Schwarz report:
An Islamic faith center in St. Cloud was damaged again this week, and its leaders are voicing fears about its members’ safety.
The Central Minnesota Islamic Center in the 300 block of Fourth Avenue South reported a broken window shortly after 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Two people were inside when it happened, center spokesman Mohamoud Mohamed told the Times. He said they were on the other side of the building and weren’t injured.
This is the fourth incident of damage at the Islamic center in the past month, Mohamed said. He said this one was particularly concerning, because it appeared that someone used something heavy to break the window.
“Every corner of our facility has now been attacked,” he said. “It is very sad to see that happening in this century, especially during this season.”
St. Cloud police previously had asked for the public’s help in investigating reports of damage at local Islamic centers, including broken windshields on vehicles parked outside.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said investigators don’t have any solid proof that the incidents are connected, but he doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence. His department has increased its presence in the area with special details in recent weeks, he said.
“It’s disheartening more than anything,” Anderson said. . .
Read the rest at the St. Cloud Times. Imam Muhumed Ahmed asks that people get to know the center's members, rather than attack the property.
After the third attack, the St. Cloud Times denounced the vandalism, joining the center's leaders and police in asking the public's help in solving the crimes.
Photo: Damage to the Central Minnesota Islamic Center from an earlier act of vandalism. via St. Cloud Times.
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