News ID: 195451
Published: 1024 GMT June 25, 2017

Qur'ans found torn, burned outside California Islamic centers

Qur'ans found torn, burned outside California Islamic centers

Authorities in California are investigating possible hate crimes after two local Islamic centers have discovered destroyed remnants of Qur'ans outside of their mosques.

The incidents occurred outside the Masjid Annur Islamic Center in Sacramento and the Islamic Center of Davis on Saturday and Friday respectively, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of the Sacramento Valley.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said that a sheriff’s deputy was waved down by a citizen Saturday afternoon and was led to a burned Qur'an filled with bacon, hanging by a handcuff from a fence.

In a separate incident on Friday, someone, who was driving by in a car, threw pages torn out of a Qur'an into the Islamic Center of Davis during night prayers.

The incidents happened as the two communities participated in the last days of the holy month of Ramadan.

CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra said, “We thank all the officers involved in these investigations for their prompt and professional actions in responding to these troubling incidents.”

“Decisive action by law enforcement authorities sends a strong message of deterrence to anyone who contemplates turning their bigoted views into acts of intimidation,” Elkarra added.

The incident at the Islamic Center of Davis was the second so far this year. In January, a woman broke the windows of the mosque and left bacon strips on the entrance handles.

Lauren Kirk-Coehlo recently pleaded guilty to a felony hate crime and received five years’ probation.

On May 9, CAIR said in a report that the number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the US saw a 57% rise in 2016, attributing it, in part, to Donald Trump's rhetoric against Muslims and immigrants during his presidential campaign in 2016.

Before winning the election, Trump had promised to impose a “complete and total shutdown” on Muslims entering the US, framing it as an effort to prevent attacks in the country.

Since he took office in January, Trump issued two travel bans against people from several Muslim countries, both of which were blocked by federal judges.

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