ARIZONA – A man broke into a Tucson mosque in Arizona, ripping up over 130 copies of the holy Qur’an in the mosque, as police officials said there was no indication that the attack was a “hate crime.”
“Although we are disheartened by this incident, we understand that this is an isolated incident,” the Islamic Center of Tucson wrote on Facebook.
“The ICT has been a part of the Tucson community since the late 1980’s and since then, the Tucson community has been kind, welcoming, and supportive.”
The attack occurred early Monday morning, March 13, around 3:30 am.
The center said nothing was stolen and no one was hurt, sharing the photo of an unknown man who was seen on surveillance video.
Video shows the man forcing his way into the ICT by pulling hard on the door.
“The camera footage leads us to believe the sole intent of this individual was to damage the center’s religious property,” the center said in the Facebook post.
“The Tucson Police Department responded quickly. As always, they were kind, courteous, and thorough with their investigation.”
Sgt. Kim Bay, spokeswoman for the Tucson Police Department, said the man is considered a suspect.
“There is no indication this was a hate crime,” Bay said.
Though the attack is the first to target Tucson Islamic Center, it is not the first for mosques across North America.
In January, a 27-year-old Trump supporter opened fire in a Quebec City mosque, killing six people and wounding 19 others.
Also in January, a mosque in Victoria, Texas, was set on fire, and authorities are now investigating the incident as arson. Only five days prior, a California mosque was vandalized with strips of bacon.
The year 2015 was also named the worst year for mosque attacks on record.
The Islamic Center of Tucson created a GoFundMe page in hopes of securing funding to beef up the mosque’s security, the campaign aimed at raising $12,500.
On behalf of Tucson’s Muslim community, we at ICT would like to extend a very sincere “Thank you” for the incredible outpouring of love and support. This is the Tucson we know and love!” the mosque wrote on a post on Facebook.
“From the heartwarming fundraiser started by our Jewish friends, to the tons of emails and comments we’ve received from our fellow Tucsonans, as well as from the many people across the country.”