Mosque In OKC Vandalized With Paintballs
OKLAHOMA CITY - Vandals targeted a local mosque over the weekend, splattering the front of the building with dozens of paintballs. The incident was caught on a security camera but the suspect or suspects got away before police got to the scene.
It took Imam Ahmed Hassan hours to clean most of the 58 paint splatters off the Islamic mosque. Monday several folks sent in emails, left phone messages and stopped by to show their support. Hassan said people from all religions were reaching out to him. One person left a plant and a card with a quote from R.F.K. stating, "what we need in the United States is not division. What we need in the United States is not hatred."
"This gives you energy, This puts a smile on your face," said Hassan after reading the card.
A security camera showed what happened just after two o'clock Sunday morning. A dark car pulled into the parking lot and the driver positioned it so a passenger can point a paintball gun out the window and fire off dozens of rounds of at the main entrance. Hassan, who lives next door to the Mosque, heard the whole thing. The sound of the shots worried him immediately.
"First thing that came to my mind was what is happening around the nation just like Wisconsin and other places where the mosques are attacked," he explained.
Perhaps surprisingly, revenge was not on Hassan's mind a day after the vandals attacked his place of worship. Instead, Hassan focused on the good that will come from the act.
"It strengthens their faith, it actually underlines what their intentions were, to eliminate religious intolerance," said Hassan. "This is behind us and we should look forward and learn very good lessons especially forgiveness and peace. That's all we need."
The outpouring of support since the incident made that easier to do.
A lawyer for the mosque said both Oklahoma City Police and the FBI were working to enhance the security camera footage to see if they could get a better idea of a suspect.