Two weeks ago, vandals spraypainted the words “Worship Satan” and drew a pentagon along the side of the Masjid Qooba mosque in St. Louis. The FBI immediately began investigating the incident, but made no arrests.
Now, vandalism has once again befallen the mosque. The words “Worship Satan” were spray-painted over a different wall of the same mosque, alarming its worshippers. The FBI and St. Louis Police are both investigating the incident, and suspect the same vandals from the incident two weeks earlier may be responsible.
In an interview with local news station KMOV, mosque spokesman Tim Kaminski said the mosque is not interested in pursuing charges against the vandal or vandals. “What we would like is for this person to come forward and come clean,” said Kaminski. “We have no rancor, no anger. We want to talk to this person. Explain to them what Islam is, that we worship the same God as the Christian and Jewish traditions do.” Watch it:
Jim Hacking, a local attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told local news station KMOX that right-wing figures have helped gin up the hatred against Muslims that is leading to vandalism. “Nationally on things like FOX News, you have people like Newt Gingrich comparing Muslims to Nazis,” Hacking said. “Just really negative, stereotypical hatred that’s been spewing out, and it’s really at its worst level, even worse than after 9/11.”