BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, which is located in Chicago, is urging the Bloomington Police Department in Indiana to investigate a substantial case of vandalism.
The crime occurred late Sunday night into Monday morning at the Islamic Center of Bloomington.
Mosque officials described the damage as "fairly extensive," as picnic tables, HVAC equipment, fence panels and more were all destroyed.
"This incident has sent chills down our collective community’s spine. We do not feel safe and feel that the threat, which we believe is a hate crime, has not been dealt with adequately," mosque officials said in a statement.
The mosque officials say despite there being security footage of the incident, they believe the Blooming Police Department has not taken the vandalism seriously.
"Officers suggested that the perpetrator was likely under the influence and instructed the officials to clean up and move on," the mosque officials claim in a press release.
The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) says they have seen an increase in mosque property damage since 2016.
"The lone perpetrator captured in security footage clearly targeted our mosque, not touching any other cars, property, or residences in the area. While we worry that inaction may send the wrong message to those who think we are low hanging fruit, we note that many allies have warmly reached out to us; we are so glad to be a part of the loving and supportive Bloomington community and look forward to spending many more years among you," mosque officials said.
Suspect vandalized mosque in Bloomington, Indiana.
CAIR-Chicago is asking the public for help in identifying the suspect seen on surveillance video causing the damage.
"It is beyond me how a police department can conclusively determine the motive of the crime without a full and proper investigation that includes detectives, fingerprinting, an arrest, an exploration of the perpetrators background, and interviews," CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said in a statement.