Photo courtesy: Maplewood Police Department
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (KMSP) - Authorities are asking for help in identifying suspects that vandalized a Maplewood mosque July 29.
According to a release from the Maplewood Police Department, the vandals left criminal damage to property when they left graffiti at the Islamic Institute of MN Alsalam Mosque on Skillman Avenue.
Around 1:29 a.m. July 29, two unknown suspects spray painted “666” with an image, “Jesus saves” and a cross and “F*** 69” on the outside wall of the mosque.
Maplewood Police have images of the two suspects from surveillance video.
“This type of crime is unacceptable and has no place in Maplewood,” said Public Safety Director Scott Nadeau. “We encourage anyone with information to call us so we can work together to solve this crime.”
“We have a pattern here where we're seeing a lot more people comfortable expressing hate,” said Amir Malik, attorney and Civil Rights Director at CAIR.
Sunday evening, the Center for American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota called on authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
"Given the nature of the vandalism and the empowerment of Islamophobia nationwide by some of our nation's top officials, we urge law enforcement authorities to treat this vandalism as a possible hate crime," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.
“It's to tell people that you're not welcome here. They're telling groups if you're Black you're not welcome, if you're Jewish you're not welcome, if you're Muslim you're not welcome, if you're an immigrant you're not welcome. I think that's the goal of these messages is to say, we don't want you here,” Malik said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Maplewood Police at 651-767-0670 or by calling 911. Callers are instructed to have the on-duty Maplewood sergeant call you back.
Tips can also be submitted on their Facebook page at facebook.com/maplewoodpd. Please reference case number 18021195 when giving the information.