Miami Islamic school vandalized for third time in past year

Islamic leaders renewed their calls for a hate-crime investigation on Tuesday after someone threw a rock through the glass doors of the Islamic School of Miami.

The incident, which occurred Monday, was the third at the mosque and the fifth in South Florida in the past year, according to Altaf Ali, executive director of the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Ali said worshipers arrived at the mosque located at 11699 SW 147th Ave., at about 5 a.m. Tuesday and found the gate leading into the center broken and the two glass doors shattered. The damage came a week after vandals shattered another window there on May 28.

“It’s the strong possibility that it could be the same perpetrators,” Ali said. “There is no other in South Florida that has been vandalized as this one has,” Ali said. “Six incidents since 9/11.”

Miami-Dade police spokesman Juan Del Castillo said officers will investigate the case but the department has not classified it as a hate crime.

The council called for an increase in police patrols at the center, where in May 2004 someone spray-painted a black swastika and an obscenity on the school’s sign.

Sun-Sentinel, 8 June 2005

CAIR states that “an investigating officer called to the scene of the vandalism reportedly did not even get out of his car”.

CAIR news release, 7 June 2005

See also “Hate evidence lacking in fire probe”, San Bernadino Sun, 6 June 2005