Islamic Group in Omaha Sees Building Vandalized

October 22, 2008

Author: Christopher Burbach

Source: The World-Herald

Abdul Hikmat was preparing to pray at a southwest Omaha mosque when he discovered shards of glass and chunks of rock scattered across the floor.

Someone had thrown a rock through a glass door of the Midwest Islamic Foundation near 138th and Q Streets.

The stone shattered more than the door.

"I was shocked, devastated, horrified," Hikmat said after discovering the damage Tuesday afternoon. "And very disappointed. This is a center for love, love for people, love for God."

Hikmat and Bilal Khaleeq, board members of the foundation, said they view the vandalism as a hate crime.

They reported it to Omaha police and the FBI. A police officer found "no blatant evidence of a hate crime" at the scene, said Officer Michael Pecha, an Omaha police spokesman. But, he said, detectives will consider that possibility as part of their follow-up investigation.