Police Investigating Vandalism at San Antonio Mosque as a Hate Crime

May 5, 2006

Source: KENS 5 Eyewitness News


On May 5, 2006 KENS 5 Eyewitness News reported, "A Friday morning attack on a San Antonio Muslim center is being investigated as a hate crime.

The vandalism happened in the 1700 block of Hayes Street on the East Side.

Worshippers say vandals who broke into the mosque took some cash and appliances, but also took the sense of peace in the sanctuary.

The mosque looked like a late-night party that was never cleaned up. Paper towels, ribbons and other pieces of trash were strewn about the building... A pentagram and gang-style symbols scribbled on one of the walls of the sanctuary have police listing this as a hate crime, a crime not often seen in San Antonio.

2004 is the latest year available for hate crime statistics.

Texas reported 309 hate crimes that year, including 44 percent that were motivated by racial bias, and 10 percent motivated by religious bias.

In San Antonio, 24 hate crimes were reported. Fifty percent of those crimes were considered race-related, and 13 percent were considered religion-related.

One of the most publicized cases in 2004 included a rash of convenience store fires set by Thomas Carroll. Authorities said the fires were motivated by a Muslim bias, and Carroll was sentenced to 30 years in prison under hate crime statutes.

However, despite the seriousness of this crime, Mateen wishes for a dialogue with the people responsible, not vengeance... San Antonio police say that right now, the city averages about one hate crime each month."