FORT COLLINS, Colorado. – Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the person who toppled banks, broke windows, and threw a Bible into a mosque in the neighborhood of the Colorado State University, a case which they are investigating as a bias-motivated crime.
The police released two clips of the surveillance video that captured the vandalism at the Islamic Center of Fort Collins before dawn Sunday. In one, a man with a hood, believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, is shown picking up a paving stone and walk away and in the other, he kicks a door.
The centre of the president, Tawfik Aboellail, said the man tried to break into the mosque about 4 pm, and Sunday, but not get inside.
The vandalism prompted the center to cancel religious classes for children that morning, but it has also led to an outpouring of support. The Coloradoan reports that members of Plymouth Congregational Church, visited after the morning service, and later, about 1,000 people gathered at the mosque for a rally of support organised by a rabbi on Sunday evening.
Many have also make donations online to pay for repairs and improved security.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations had urged the police to investigate the case as a possible hate crime.
Police chief John Hutto, who participated in the support of the rally, said that the incident was a “very real impact on our Muslim friends and neighbors.”
“The criminal act against their sacred space is unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
The vandalism comes about a month after someone threw a rock through a window at a mosque in Denver area. The incident at the Colorado Muslim Society was also captured on video surveillance, but no one has been arrested. Researchers in the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office have exhausted all their leads, spokeswoman Julie Brooks said Monday.