Federal agents are investigating whether vandalism at an Islamic high school in Sylvania early yesterday morning where swastikas and “white power” slogans were spray-painted on the property was racially motivated, authorities said.
The incident is not being considered a hate crime – a conclusion that cannot be made until later in the investigation, authorities said.
Six windows of the Toledo Islamic Academy High School, 5242 McGregor Lane, were painted with red swastikas, and two windows were shot with what authorities believe was a BB gun.
Swastikas also were spray-painted on the school’s entrance doors and on eight trees on the northeast side of the school. The words “white power” were painted on the side of a truck in the school’s parking lot along with several green swastikas.
“To see something like this was disappointing,” said Principal Aalaa Eldeib, who reported the vandalism to Sylvania police when she arrived at the school about 8:15 a.m.
“I feel like it was done out of ignorance.”
Detective Laura Bliss said there were no suspects last night, but believes teenagers were involved. The detective said it doesn’t appear that any-one associated with the school was a specific target of the vandalism, which occurred between 3 and 6 a.m.
Julia Shearson, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Cleveland chapter, is concerned about the recent number of incidents targeting American Muslims throughout the country. (MORE)