Vandals target Islamic Center
By ANGELA CARBONE
WEST SPRINGFIELD - The Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts has recently been the target of three attacks.
On March 21, the windows and windshield of a van parked at the center were smashed with a large stone while Islamic Society members were in the midst of their Friday prayer, Islamic Society President Dr. M. Saleem Bajwa said Tuesday. The front door of the center's new hall was shattered with another large stone on March 26. On March 28, two large windows of the main building were smashed with stones. These windows are high off the ground and would require some force to break.
In addition to the vandalism, the Islamic Center received threatening telephone calls.
Local police and the FBI have been called in to investigate.
West Springfield Police Sgt. Mark Sypek said yesterday that he wouldn't characterize the vandalism as hate crimes. "I haven't seen any graffiti that would indicate that," he said.
It is more likely that the destruction was carried out by teenagers, he said.
Bajwa agreed that the vandals could indeed be teenagers, but the effort it took to hurl the large stones is troubling. People at the center have suffered verbal attacks and finger-pointing before, but this destruction is more serious.
"This seems to be systematic and planned," Bajwa said. "The problem is, we don't know where it's going to stop."
The telephone call, captured on the phone's message machine, features a male voice attempting some kind of accent. The voice says: "You must renounce the violence that your people are perpetrating against the citizens of the free world or there will be hell to pay."
The more people learn about islam & they will learn about it when the jihad on our land will become so obvious that even the government & media will not be able to hide it these 'incidents' will pale in comparison to what will take place...
Moslems cannot live in peace with INFIDELS, it is forbidden in the koran and moslem never fail to live by the koran...
1) Vandals target Islamic Center