FBI Investigates Vandalism and Violence Against Muslim Community in Hamtramck

February 16, 2006

Source: Detroit Free Press


On February 16, 2006 the Detroit Free Press reported, "The FBI is investigating incidents of vandalism and alleged harassment at a mosque in Hamtramck that a Muslim leader says may be part of an anti-Muslim backlash...

In the three weeks preceding Feb. 12, the spiritual leader of Al-Islah Islamic Center was struck with a snow shovel, the center's window was broken by rocks and snowballs, and shoes were thrown at worshippers inside the mosque, according to Abdul Motlib, the mosque's president.

'We are in a very bad situation. We didn't have any problem before. Nobody broke our glass -- nothing.'

All four incidents occurred in the late afternoon or early evening. The alleged perpetrators are described as a group of three to five teenagers, said Motlib, who added that most of the incidents were reported to Hamtramck police.

The FBI is investigating complaints at the mosque for possible civil rights violations, Clenney said. Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sought the FBI's help.

An agent will be meeting with mosque leaders today, he said.

He wonders whether the vandalism and the muggings on Conant are a backlash against Muslims seen on TV protesting the cartoon of Islam's prophet Muhammad. 'We don't know for sure,' Walid said. 'It would be just conjecture... We do know there is constant religious and racial tension in the area.'"