Wednesday , June 19 2024

Islamic Center in Fresno is Victim of Christmas Day Hate Crime

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<div>The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno is the victim of what Fresno Police is calling a hate crime.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Police said on Friday that a male suspect broke into the Islamic center on Christmas morning around 10am. The center is located on Nees Ave. Police said the suspect smashed seven glass doors with river rocks and proceeded to pour bleach over a podium and an American flag.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>The suspect, described as a white or light Hispanic male, can be seen on surveillance video throwing rocks at the camera. The man also put up both hands and flipped the camera off.</div><div><br /></div><div>&quot;This center means a lot to me. It’s my community, it’s the people I love, who I care about,&quot; said Abdulwahee Jawad, a member of ICCF.</div><div><br /></div><div>Jawad and his fellow members showed up on Friday to ICCF for their weekly prayer day. But when they arrived this morning, they were shocked at what they saw.</div><div><br /></div><div>Jawad said, &quot;It was really devastating when I saw the text, I said, ‘Are you serious?’&quot;</div><div><br /></div><div>Fresno Police said it’s relying on surveillance video to arrest the suspect. Chief Jerry Dyer described the situation as a hate crime.</div><div><br /></div><div>Dyed said, &quot;There was an interesting point in the video where the suspect noticed that there was an interior camera. The suspect began to throw the rocks at the camera in an underhand motion, as if to try to break the camera, and then at one point stood and looked directly into the camera with both hands gesturing. Gestured flipping the Center off, or at least the camera.&quot;</div><div><br /></div><div>Dyer said there is an alarm system in the center, but for some reason, it didn’t get set off. Police said the suspect didn’t steal anything, not even cash left inside by the staff. But ICCF Manager Reza Nekumanesh said the suspect stole their security.</div><div><br /></div><div>&quot;It’s painful. It’s painful because we do so much with our friends and neighbors in this community. We have great relationships in this community. We’re a place that is opening and welcoming to everybody,&quot; said Nekumanesh.</div><div><br /></div><div>Nekumanesh said the ICCF never experienced anything like this before.</div><div><br /></div><div>He said, &quot;I can’t understand why someone would do this.&quot;</div><div><br /></div><div>For Jawad, this prayer day is focused on trying to find forgiveness.</div><div><br /></div><div>&quot;There’s a lot of bad people in this world so. But I don’t think it’s a reflection of what this society is all about,&quot; said Jawad.</div></div>

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