The vandals wrote ‘kill the Muslims’ on the wall. Bay area Muslims are calling for protection after profane and slang graffiti was discovered on the walls at an Islamic Community Center in Lutz Friday.
Ahmed Bedier with CAIR-Florida, a Muslim civil liberties group, said he’s concerned about how investigators are classifying the case.
“As of last we checked, the sheriff’s office has the case classified as a burglary, not a hate crime,” he said.
In a statement released by CAIR-Florida after the break-in, administrators said, “We call on the FBI to investigate this attack as a possible hate crime and ask local law enforcement to step up patrols near Islamic institutions in Florida.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Sgt. Alan Hill said investigators don’t have enough information to consider the damage a hate crime.
He said deputy patrols wouldn’t be stepped up around religious facilities because patrols were already increased after 9/11.
“You can’t jump to those conclusions. You have to have the facts and evidence to back those charges up. Right now, because we are so early on in this investigation, we have a lot of things to look at first,” Hill said..