Was the Vandalism of a Southern W.Va. Mosque a Hate Crime?

Dec 19, 2013

The Islamic Society of Appalachian Region near Princeton was spray painted earlier this week.
Credit Paul Hess, WVVA-TV News

A national Muslim civil rights organization is calling on state and federal law enforcement to investigate the vandalism of a West Virginia mosque as a possible hate crime.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department is looking for vandals after the Islamic Society of Appalachian Region near Princeton was spray painted earlier this week.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, wants the FBI to join investigators.

The graffiti spray-painted on the mosque and its sign made obscene references to “Allah,” the Arabic word for God, and the numbers “666” making reference to the Antichrist among other reportedly graphic terms.

Mosque members say this is the second time the house of worship has been targeted. It was also vandalized following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Dr. Abdul Rashid Piracha, a mosque leader, told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph: “This really hurts all of us because all of us feel that we are part of the American dream.”