Police Investigate Arson at a Minneapolis Islamic Center

August 25, 2006

Source: Daily Planet, the


On August 25, 2006 the Daily Planet reported, "A Minneapolis mosque was targeted with a suspected arson early Thursday morning while prayer was in session, the mosque director said. No one was hurt in the incident, but dozens of books and other equipments were destroyed.

Sheikh Abdirashid Hassan, the director of Abubakar Assadique Islamic Center located in 2824 13th Avenue S., which was bought by Muslims a year ago for $1.7 million, said he believes a hate crime is involved... By Thursday evening, half-burned books and an almost unrecognizable snowplow machine were still at the scene. The smell of the smoke could still be detected in the air.

Fresh graffiti showing the Star of David and what looks like a Menorah, both Jewish symbols, have been painted on the wall facing the 13th Street side of the building.

Mosque officials are saying that they are not sure if the two separate men caught on camera or the Jewish symbols are connected. They are also not sure if the graffiti was the work of the two suspicious men or if they were painted last night. Other members of the mosque, however, say that they have never seen the graffiti before.

'While we think this case has the fingerprints of a hate crime, we’re not making any judgment on any particular people, community or faith,' said Hassan, the director of the mosque.

Mosque leaders said that they have been receiving weekly – and sometimes daily- fax messages riddled with insults and 'go back to your country' rhetoric since they bought the property.

Police are still investigating the incident, which caused limited damage.

It’s not the first time that a mosque in Minnesota has been targeted by arsonists. Columbia Heights' Islamic Center was also attacked last year, when arsonists burned down a portion of the mosque."