San Francisco Mosque vandalized, shaking Muslim community

Someone threw a bottle of beer out of the window of the Islamic Center of San Francisco on November 12.

Someone threw a bottle of beer out of the window of the Islamic Center of San Francisco on November 12. “We feel like our house has been attacked,” said a resident scholar at the mosque.

Islamic Center of San Francisco Facebook Page

A vandal threw a beer bottle through one of the windows of San Francisco’s oldest mosque, shaking members of the local Muslim community, local media reported.

Police responded to the Islamic Center of San Francisco around 11:48 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, the San Francisco Police Department told McClatchy News.

The suspect fled after throwing the bottle out the window, police said.

Friday is a day of prayer in Islam and is usually a busy day for mosques, which hold prayers and services throughout the day. There were people inside the mosque when the vandalism happened, and one person said he and others heard the sound of breaking glass at the time, the police said. police.

Community leaders said it was rare for such incidents to occur.

“We are scared, we were uncertain, we didn’t understand what was going on because we hadn’t experienced something like this in our community for a long time,” Shahbaz Shaikh, a resident scholar at the mosque, told CBS. San Francisco.

Shaikh also said the center plans to update its security cameras and work with San Francisco police to find the culprit, KRON 4 reported.

Police said the vandal’s motive was “unknown at this time”.

“We don’t know what that person’s intention was, you know, we’re scared,” Zuhaib Siddique, a member of the mosque’s board of directors, told CBS San Francisco. “As a Muslim community, of course, we are always a bit scared.”

The broken bottle left shards of shattered glass on the floor of the mosque and beer spilled on the carpet, the Chronicle reported. Alcohol is considered haram – or forbidden – in Islam, and many Muslims do not drink.

“We have to change the way we pray, so there will be less space for our prayers now, until we clear this area,” Shaikh told the Chronicle.

Siddique said the mosque has been around since the 1950s and is one of the oldest in California. Members say they do not recall anything like this happening to the mosque, which also serves as a community gathering place for celebrations, funerals and other events, since the day after 9/11, reported CBS San Francisco.

“It’s a house for Muslims, so when an attack like this happens, we feel like our house has been attacked,” Shaikh told CBS San Francisco.

Despite the incident, Shaikh said he had a message for the suspect, who police say is still at large.

“I would like the individual who committed this act to please come to our mosque,” ​​Shaikh told KRON 4. “Please contact me, please contact us. would like to sit down with this person and answer all their questions about Islam.

This story was originally published November 15, 2021 2:40 p.m.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News and Arizona PBS.

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