Friday , June 21 2024

Family of Alleged Islamic Center Vandal Claims Man has Schizophrenia

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<font size="2"><p>A local man has been arrested in connection to the break-in and vandalism of an Islamic worship center in Fresno.</p><p>The Fresno Police Department said 28-year old Asif Mohammed Khan burglarized and vandalized the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno. They said Khan was arrested on Friday.</p>Khan’s sister, Samia Khan, spoke out on Saturday on behalf of her brother and her parents. She said Asif and her family are Muslim and they have attended services here at the Islamic Center before. However, Reza Nekumanesh, the manger of ICCF said he hadn’t recognized them.<br /><br />Khan’s family said his actions were not a hate crime. They said Khan has schizophrenia, and claim what happened on Christmas Day was the result of his manic state.<br /><br />&quot;We are deeply sorry for the incidents that occurred on Thursday,&quot; read Samia from a letter from her parents at a press conference at the Fresno Police Department.<br /><br />Samia continued, &quot;He was diagnosed in his early 20’s and since then, we have worked with psychiatrists and therapists to ease his condition.&quot;<br /><br />Samia said her brother, who is an avid NBA fan, was not himself on Christmas morning before he went out and committed the alleged crimes. She said Khan’s manic state is what perhaps led him to break into ICCF. Police said Khan smashed seven glass doors and poured bleach over an American flag and speakers.<br /><br />Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said on Saturday that Khan also burglarized and vandalized the California Digestive Disease Center in Fresno on Christmas Day as well. Dyer said the alarm system went off at the digestive center, and that is where Khan was arrested. <br /><br />Dyer said, &quot;First off, he admitted to committing both the burglary at the digestive center, as well as the mosque. He told the detectives he wanted to be truthful, and he continued to tell them on the onset that he was tired of being bullied by other people.&quot;<br /><br />Dyer said Khan told detectives that he was angry at specific people at ICCF, people who allegedly looked down on him.<br /><br />&quot;He did say that this was not a hate crime. Although he was angry and perhaps had some hatred in him towards individuals, it was not geared towards the Muslim community. It was not geared towards the Islamic faith,&quot; said Khan.<br /><br />Police said Khan targeted the digestive center, which was about three miles away from the Islamic Center, because he thought the parents of one of the girls that allegedly bullied him, owned the building. The owners of that building turned out to be not who Khan thought it was, said police. Dyer said detectives searched on Khan’s Facebook and found that a few days before the crimes on Christmas, Khan referenced that the most inspirational person in his life was Osama Bin Laden. There was also a reference to Adolf Hitler.<br /><br />Members of ICCF turning their focus now on forgiveness.<br /><br />ICCF manager Reza Nekumanesh said, &quot;We feel terrible for the family. We’re sorry that the family has to go through any of this, and we’re there for them if they need us.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;We hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive his mistake, and understand the health issue that has brought us here today,&quot; said Samia.<br /><br />Dyer said the FBI will determine if Khan will be charged with a hate crime. Khan faces two counts of felony vandalism to a place of worship, an additional two counts of vandalism, and four counts of burglary.</font></div>

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