After a rash of car vandalism in a Falls Church neighborhood near a Mosque, police adamantly dismissed the idea the crime could be hate related.
Despite their assurances, Mosque leaders and other faith-based leaders in the community came together to send a message of unity and to repudiate the crime.
“We are determined in this community to live together, to work together, to pray together and to serve together,” said Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center.
Initial concerns over the possibility that hate sparked the crime quickly emerged because of the recent anti-American sentiment and protests in the Middle East.
Fairfax County Police said there were 24 car with broken windows. Only four of them were outside the Mosque.
“There are some of us who are afraid that international events and something like this could create animosity in our community,”
“Us as a community will not tolerate this kind of behavior,” said Fairfax County Police Captain Gun Lee, who was at the impromptu community meeting to assure the crowd his police department was investigating the car vandalism.
Lee urged those present to work together and spread the word. He added he wouldn’t mind if people called him directly to share any tips about Saturday’s crime.
In addition to Lee’s pleas, the Council of American-Islamic Relations announced a $1,000 offer to anyone who could help find the culprits of the crime.
If you have any information on the crime, please call Fairfax County Police at 703-256-8035 ext. 2248.