Police: Graffiti left at Maine Muslim center

Posted May 02, 2011, at 3:09 p.m.
Last modified May 02, 2011, at 3:57 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Police say someone painted graffiti including “Osama today, Islam tomorrow” outside a Muslim community center after the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

The graffiti showed up sometime between Sunday night prayers and Monday morning prayers. A graffiti team quickly painted over the remarks.

Portland Police Chief James Craig described a brazen incident in which a vandal or vandals used red spray paint outside the Maine Muslim Community Center between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Craig says investigators are treating the case seriously and that the incident doesn’t reflect the sentiment of the Greater Portland community. As for the vandals, he says, “we will find you and arrest you.”

Craig says the case is being treated as a hate crime because it targeted a religion. He says the case remains a Portland investigation, but that the FBI has been consulted.

Abdirahman Osman, a community elder, told WCSH-TV that he believes “we are under threat.” He says people who believe in Islam believe in God, not violence. He says bin Laden created a lot of problems and suffering for people, including Muslims.

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