Vandals smash windows, damage property at Islamic centers in St. Cloud

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Islamic leaders in St. Cloud have reported that faith centers in the city have been targeted by vandals in recent weeks.

At least two faith centers and property belonging to worshippers have been vandalized, according to the St. Cloud Times, with the latest seeing leaders of the Central Minnesota Islamic Center discover smashed windows Wednesday morning.

Center spokesman Mohamoud Mohamed told the newspaper it was the third time the building had been vandalized in the last three weeks, adding: "At the beginning we were thinking it was isolated – a student or drunk person – but it isn't.

"It is some person or persons who are causing damange and targeting our faith facilities."

The Pioneer Press reports that damage has also been caused to vehicles outside the Islamic Center of St. Cloud mosque, which is on 5th Avenue South.

Local Islamic leaders are now considering installing extra community cameras on properties, the newspaper notes, and police are investigating.

Last month, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) called for the FBI to investigate anti-Islamic graffiti discovered in St. Paul.

The Star Tribune reports that an offensive message targeting muslims was written in motor oil near a driveway in a neighborhood with a sizable Muslim population.

CAIR-MN executive director Lori Saroya told the newspaper that vandalism against mosques and Muslim homes are reported "a few times a year" in Minnesota.

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