MISSION VIEJO – The Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced two incidents of what it called "anti-Islam hate" after a Quran was found burned in a mosque parking lot and a Muslim component of a holiday display was defaced, both on New Year's Day.
Munira Syeda, spokeswoman for CAIR, said that although the two incidents were reported on the same day, they do not appear to be related.
The vandalism prompted leaders of other religious faiths to offer support, including Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, which sent a letter to the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo.
"I am embarrassed and appalled at this blatant display of hate against your community," wrote Rabbi Diane Cohen. "It is truly unfortunate that at a time when all Americans should stand together against extremist fears, people with small minds and narrow souls seek not to unite us but to divide us."
Rusty Kennedy, executive director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, said the two New Year's Day incidents were the first and only two hate crimes that have been reported to the agency in 2010.
"I think these are clearly hate-motivated incidents," Kennedy said. "It's kind of sad."...