Vandalized California Mosque to Hold Community Open House

islamic-center-of-mantecaEvent designed to thank those who supported mosque following apparent hate incident

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 2/8/14) -- On Sunday, February 9, the Islamic Center of Manteca in Manteca, Calif., will hold a community open house to thank all those who supported the mosque following a recent act of vandalism that is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

WHAT: Islamic Center of Manteca to Hold Community Open House
WHEN: Sunday, February 9, 1 to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Islamic Center of Manteca, 1058 South Union Road, Manteca, CA 95337
CONTACT: Islamic Center of Manteca Imam Mohammad ElFarra (209) 679-6311, [email protected]; Masood Cajee (209) 298-1442, [email protected]; CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, (916) 289-3748, [email protected]

"We're very proud of the support we have received from the Manteca community, and hosting an open house is a way to thank our friends and neighbors for their support," said Masood Cajee, a member of the mosque's congregation.

Open house attendees will be able to tour the new facility, which opened in June 2013, and will be able to have their names written in Arabic by a calligrapher. Refreshments will be served.

The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a bias motive for the vandalism of the mosque.

CAIR-CA: Muslims Seek Dialogue in Hate Crime Aftermath
CAIR-SV: Vandalized California Mosque to Hold Open House (Video)

The vandalism included strips of raw bacon and hate graffiti found on the grounds of the Islamic Center of Manteca last week as a possible bias-motivated crime. [NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities.] Hate graffiti sprayed on the mosque included "F*** Islam" on the facility's sign and on the ground near the entrance. Last year, the mosque's sign was spray-painted with graffiti stating "No Allah, Only God."

In response to previous attacks on American mosques, CAIR published a booklet called "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.

Facts about the Islamic Center of Manteca

  • Completed June 2013, the Islamic Center is the first purpose-built mosque in San Joaquin County, and in the northern San Joaquin Valley.
  • The mosque is situated next door to Sequoia Heights Baptist Church, with which the center shares parking lots.
  • The mosque's congregation is diverse, with a membership that includes Afghans, Fijians, Yemenis, Palestinians, African Americans, Latinos, Americans of European heritage, South Asians, and Arabs.
  • Friday congregational prayers usually have some 200 worshipers. Up to 1,000 turn out for holiday celebrations. A weekday afternoon school has about 90 children.
  • The center was the winner of a $40,000 2013-2014 Creative Work Fund grant. Arabic calligrapher Zubair Simab and mosaic artist Pippa Murray are collaborating with the Islamic Center of Manteca to create an architectural mosaic for the Center's new facility. The artists are drawing inspiration for the work from the diverse traditions and cultures that make up the center's congregation and community.

SEE: Zubair Simab and the Islamic Cultural Center of Manteca