Site for mosque hit with graffiti

Hate crime suspected in Milpitas

Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer 

Friday, June 14, 2002 

Windows were shattered and obscene graffiti was left

at a construction site for a mosque in what is being

investigated as a possible hate crime, Milpitas police

said Thursday.

Police were summoned to the Montague Expressway site

at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, said Lt. Sandy Holliday.

There, they found windows shattered and belongings

strewn about a construction trailer and camper parked

behind a large industrial building that the Al-Hilaal

Islamic Charitable Foundation plans to turn into a

turreted masjid, or mosque.

"We don't know at this time if it's somebody that

happened on the place or targeted it, but we are

treating it as a hate crime because of some of the

derogatory graffiti," Holliday said.

She said the graffiti included references to the devil

and obscene phrases about Arabs.

Milpitas police are consulting with the U.S.

Department of Justice and national Islamic groups as

part of the investigation, Holliday said. Milpitas

last saw a mosque vandalized on Sept. 11, she said.

"We take this very seriously," she said. "We want our

community to know they are safe."

According to its Web site, the 8-year-old nonprofit

foundation bought the property for $1.9 million in

2000 and is now raising money for a $2.5 million

renovation. The plan is to turn the 7,000-square-foot

rectangular building on the lot into a mosque with

men's and women's prayer rooms, dining room and

classroom space.

Foundation officials could not be reached for comment

Thursday. But Muhammad Abu-Haneefa, activity director

of American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, a

national organization based in Santa Clara, said he

believed the community would carry on.

"Our Muslim community, together with our conscious

brothers and sisters of other faiths, are going to

stay strong," he said.

Abu-Haneefa said he felt that the graffiti at the

mosque was part of a wider attack against the

community of faith; he mentioned an arson fire on a

largely Arab American Christian church in Los Altos in

April and several incidents of Nazi-related graffiti

at a Redwood City synagogue in the past several


E-mail Matthew B. Stannard at


Milpitas mosque under construction hit by vandals

Bay City News Service

MILPITAS - Milpitas police are investigating a

possible hate crime against a mosque under

construction in the city, but said today they have few

clues as to a suspect.

Officers responded to a report of a commercial

burglary at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at the mosque at

91 Montague Expressway, where they discovered that a

modular trailer used by the construction company was

damaged inside.

Investigators were led to believe the incident was a

hate crime because `derogatory'' remarks were scrawled

on the walls inside, but it is unknown at this time

when the crime occurred.

A police spokeswoman said there are no suspects at

this time and the investigation is continuing.


Back To Islam Awareness Homepage

Latest News about Islam and Muslims

Contact for further information