Miami Valley Islamic leaders are calling a recent act of vandalism at a Dayton mosque a hate crime, and they’re asking local and federal officials to investigate it as such.
A white man was captured on video throwing rocks through windows at the Al-Rahman Mosque last Thursday. Officials say the man circled the mosque several times and pointed a gun at surveillance cameras. The incident occurred around 6 a.m., a traditional Muslim prayer time.
“This was a planned attack," said Karen Dabdoub, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. "He was very systematic about it. It does not look at all like just some kids throwing rocks.”
In a statement, an FBI spokesperson said the agency is aware of the incident, and is in contact with the Dayton Police Department. He also said if local authorities find evidence of civil rights violations, the FBI is prepared to investigate.
A spokesperson for the Dayton Police Department confirmed officers are investigating the matter, but declined to comment further.
The FBI reported a 17% rise in hate crimes in 2017. The number has steadily increased since 2014.