CAIR-MI: ISLAMIC GROUP CALLS FOR FEDERAL PROBE INTO VANDALISM OF BUILDINGS
An Islamic coalition representing southeast Michigan Sunni groups and centers said Tuesday that the vandalism of Shiite mosques and businesses over the weekend could be hate crimes and called on the federal government to investigate.
Late Saturday night or early Sunday, vandals broke windows of two mosques and five businesses along Warren Avenue owned by Iraqi Shiites, the second largest Islamic sect after the Sunnis.
The owner of a restaurant whose windows were broken said he had received threatening phone calls before the vandalism that referred to his Shiite creed, according to the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan, based in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.
Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell said the department is investigating the vandalism and could not confirm if the incidents were hate crimes. She said police will review security tapes to try to identify the vandals.
The FBI said in a statement Tuesday that it has talked to the Council on American-Islamic Relations and leaders of other community groups. If the Detroit police find information that links the vandalism to federal civil-rights violations, the FBI would "pursue it accordingly."