'Anti-Muslim Rhetoric' Cited After Vandalism at Mosque in UA Area

April 4, 2007

Author: Stephanie Innes

Source: Arizona Daily Star


Officials with the Islamic Center of Tucson say a recent rise in "anti-Muslim rhetoric" may have spurred vandalism at the University of Arizona-area mosque.

Tucson Police Department detectives are investigating a Sunday-night break-in at the mosque during which someone smashed the lock on a side door, broke an office window, ransacked the office and wrote "Bush was here" in magic marker across a computer screen. Nothing was stolen, mosque officials said.

Mosque spokesman Muhammad As'ad said officials don't know if Sunday's incident is related to the theft of $1,000 from the mosque two months ago. The money disappeared after funds collected during a Friday service weren't immediately deposited at the bank, As'ad said.

He said it's possible Sunday's break-in was a hate crime.