Investigators look into vandalism at Islamic Center
By Deborah Sederberg
MICHIGAN CITY — Someone threw rocks and even large cinderblock through the new windows of the Islamic Center of Michigan City, 1606 N. Porter County Road 500 East in Pine Township.
According to Brahim Hakim, vice president of the center, members and the Porter County Sheriff’s Police were able to place the time of the crime to between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday.
“We have been doing a major remodeling project,” said Hakim, “and there was only that two-hour time period between the time the workmen left and some members arrived.”
Hakim said Muslims now are observing Ramadan, a sacred time. “We fast from sun up to sundown,” he said, “and it’s nice to break the fast with family and the community.”
Members were arriving at the center at about 7 p.m. Thursday to prepare to break the fast together, he said.
Members of the Islamic Center have installed some heavy new windows as part of the remodeling. “They are very large and several inches thick,” Hakim said. They likely would not break easily, he noted, and perhaps that is why the vandals used the cinderblock.
Someone also left a large boot print on a door to the north side of the building, he said.
Hakim said members called the Porter County Sheriff’s Department to report the incident. “The officer arrived just about five minutes after we called,” Hakim said. “The police have been very helpful,” he added.
Hakim has given some thought to whether the vandalism might have been a hate crime.
“One thing that makes us think it might not have been is that another building nearby, on U.S. 20 at 500 East, also was vandalized,” he said.
It’s bad enough to have been vandalized, he added. “We hope it wasn’t a hate crime.”
Original post: Investigators look into vandalism at Islamic Center