Vandalism investigated as hate crime

October 8, 2009 2:46:46 PM PDT
A mosque in southwest Houston was the target of a possible hate crime. Authorities say someone vandalized the Turkish Center Mosque on West Bellfort near the Sam Houston Tollway Wednesday afternoon.

The vandalism happened between prayer services. It has members of Houston's Islamic community concerned because of the derogatory remarks written in chalk on the side of the building.

We're told the writings contained the word 'Islam,' but Houston police and members of the Islamic community didn't want to discuss what was written because they're concerned about copycats.

There are surveillance cameras on the outside of the mosque. Police are hoping that will help them catch the person or people who did this. In the meantime, those in the Islamic community are staying vigilant.

"There are some ignorant people as you'll find in every society," said Islamic Society of Greater Houston President Aziz Siddiqi. "They are ignorant and they talk about religion, about races and we dispel those things. The message is this, that all Houstonians do not really think these things, but we have to be on alert."

Houston police are investigating this as a hate crime.

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