Two California mosques were vandalized over the weekend in what police labeled hate crimes, sparking a federal investigation into a string of hate crimes against mosques surrounding the site of the San Bernardino shooting.
One of the mosques had “Jesus is the Way” spray-painted on it, and the other just had the word “Jesus” spray-painted on the mosque’s fence. There was also a fake grenade left in the driveway, KTLA 5 reports. The FBI is investigating the vandalism which occurred in Hawthorne, a city about 70 miles west of San Bernardino. The San Bernardino shooting was carried out by radicalized Muslims and left 14 dead and 17 injured.
Police said Friday a fire at a mosque 75 miles east of San Bernardino was likely a hate crime. An unidentified person of interest has been detained in connection with the fire, NBC News reports.
The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the event, which happened Friday around noon in Coachella. No one was hurt, and the fire is still under investigation.
“It’s horribly lamentable that we would paint any group as undesirables based on the actions of an extremely small number of radical folks that don’t represent the religion in any way,” Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit tells The Los Angeles Times. “If in fact it was done with the mosque as a target … it’s reprehensible, and the people who perpetrated that act should be treated the way we would any other terrorist.”
Following the San Bernardino shooting, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a moratorium on all Muslim immigration last week. Despite outrage over his comments, Trump received a bump in the polls.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said in a press release announcing the decision. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
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