Thursday, 04 Jun 2009, 8:18 PM
FOX 11 TV
Cypress (myFOXla.com) - Graffiti laced with threats and expletives found spray-painted Thursday on a wall on the Islamic Center of Cypress is being investigated as a hate crime, police said.
The vandalism was discovered about 4 a.m. on the mosque at 5900 Ball Road by an officer on routine patrol, said Sgt. Tom Bruce of the Cypress Police Department.
The paint was still wet when the officer discovered the vandalism, which stood out starkly against the white walls of the center and on a wooden door.
Police would not say what the message was, other than to say it included expletives "and specifics that lead us to believe it is a hate crime," Bruce said.
But in a statement released this afternoon, officials at the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the writing included, "(expletive) you," "we're going to kill you," and "US Military is going to kill you all."
According to the statement, the writing was several feet high across a wall of 20 to 30 feet.
CAIR Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said the vandalism, which has been reported to the FBI, underscored the message delivered in Cairo by President Obama about an hour before the building was spray-painted.
"This apparent hate crime points to the need to challenge the destructive phenomenon of anti-Muslim stereotypes in our society that President Obama warned us about in his speech today in Cairo," Ayloush said.
Graffiti removal crews had gotten rid of all the markings by about 8 a.m.
Bruce said no evidence was left behind. Representatives of the mosque told police that there had not been any similar incidents. Bruce said the mosque has been at the location for many years.
Shakeel Syed, of the Islamic Shura Council, told reporters that "this person obviously harbors a great deal of hate, against Muslims, against Americans, against soldiers..."
In light of the timing of the vandalism, Bruce, referring to the president's speech, said, "One could assume the timing is more than a coincidence."
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html