• Vandals target Islamic mosque in Alpharetta


    ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Alpharetta police are investigating after someone vandalized the Islamic Center of North Fulton Monday.

    Channel 2 Action News obtained photos of the sign outside of the mosque on Rucker Road. Vandals sprayed the words “London Justice” and some other similar phrases on the building. Police are investigating if the damage is in response to the Islamic radical attack on a British soldier last week in London.

    Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik got a copy of the incident report explaining what an officer saw when he arrived at the mosque.

    “Upon arrival, the eyewitness stated that he had seen an elderly Caucasian male wearing a rag on his head and short pants defacing the entrance sign at the Islamic Center. He approached the suspicious person and asked him, 'What are you doing?' at which the time the elderly man walked off towards the bushes. It was stated that the suspicious person appeared to have an English accent," the report said.

    Petchenik spoke to Moiz Mumtaz, chairman of the Islamic Center Board of Directors. Moiz said he is disappointed that someone would vandalize the property.

    "I’m just totally surprised and disappointed that something like this has happened," Moiz said.

    Moiz said the worshippers at the center have not done anything wrong.

    “I hope they get good knowledge and educated and understand what we do.  We are a peaceful people. This particular center hasn’t done anything, but sometimes people take their frustration and anger (out on) someone who is innocent.”

    Moiz hopes this will be the center's last encounter with vandals.

    “We have to continue to work on pluralism, understanding each other, living together.  We are all human beings," Moiz said.

    Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting the mosque as a hate crime.

    “We urge law enforcement authorities to send a clear message that bias attacks on American houses of worship will not be tolerated and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

    Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

    “We’re asking the public for assistance for information about who is responsible for this,” said Alpharetta Department of Public Safety spokesman George Gordon.

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