Update: FBI Investigates Michigan City Islamic Center Vandalism

July 12, 2006

Source: Northwest Indiana Times


On July 12, 2006 the Northwest Indiana Times reported, "The FBI has opened a federal criminal investigation into the potential hate crime vandalism recently at the Michigan City Islamic Center... Last week, Muslim-American leaders of the center... called the $8,600 damage to their mosque a 'systematic hate crime.' The mosque serves about 150 families. On July 2, Porter County police received a report of bullets shot into the center's copper dome, leaving six holes. Also, two glass doors, 10 windows, and a spotlight were vandalized, possibly by a BB gun, according to a police report. A national Islamic civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime... Abraham Hakim, president of the Michigan City Islamic Center, said the FBI has contacted center officials and that it is important for his center's leaders 'not to hide' from such incidents. At the least, the vandalism may have planted seeds of intimidation and the second-guessing of safety for Muslim-American center members, he said. He also noted that he has not heard from the center's neighbors or broader community after the incident was publicized. Sgt. Tim Emmons, public information officer for the Porter County Sheriff's Department, said police are canvassing the surrounding neighborhood for public comments and information. Emmons said a recent rash of similar BB gun vandalism cases have been reported in the county, including three reported Tuesday. The Islamic center is not the only victim of such incidents, he said. "