Police, FBI investigating vandalization of Louisville mosque - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police, FBI investigating vandalization of Louisville mosque

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A punch in the gut: that's how Louisville's mayor describes the spray paint vandalizing of a Louisville mosque.

It happened Wednesday afternoon, or early evening. Someone spray painted hate on the walls of the Louisville Islamic Center. There are references to terrorism and Nazism, and some messages so obscene WDRB will not show them to you. 

"I was shocked, but this has happened many times. It's probably just not happened in Louisville," said Amir Piracha, who is a member of the Islamic Center board.

"I was numb. I was just, like, it happened in Louisville to the mosque I've been going to for half my life. It's weird to think about because you don't expect it to happen so close to home," said Eiman Zuberi.

Their place of worship is now surrounded by police tape.

Police and the FBI are investigating what's being called a hate crime, an investigation made more difficult because the surveillance camera apparently was not working.

"To our Islamic Center, I want to apologize on behalf of the entire community," said Mayor Greg Fischer.

Fischer led a group of community and interfaith leaders in denouncing the vandalism, calling it a punch in the gut.

"An act like this here last night is an affront to everyone in our community. It is not just an act against one faith, the Muslim faith, it's an act against Buddhists, Christians, Jews, all faiths as well. An act like this will not be tolerated," he said.

"What comforts us is that, in all of our years living in this great city, we know that these feelings are not shared by the overwhelming majority," Muhammad Babar told the crowd.

Some of the graffiti contained Jewish symbols. It's something Matt Goldberg  of the Jewish Community of Louisville calls offensive to his faith.

"When I came down here, and I saw the Stars of David, I was shocked. This is not indicative of the Louisville Jewish Community. This is not indicative of Louisville," he said.

The mayor is calling on the community to come together Friday afternoon to help clean up.

"I think it's amazing. I think it's so good that Louisville shows so much compassion," said Zuberi.

"So our message is to the perpetrator, we win you lose," said Goldberg.

The cleanup begins at 3:30 on Friday, a demonstration that what was meant to divide may actually unify.

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