Center for Preventing Hate condemns vandalism of Portland mosque

Steve Wessler, executive director of the Center for Preventing Hate, denounced the disturbing graffiti discovered this morning on a Portland mosque and called for support for the local Muslim community.

“Acts of hate and bias like this have no place in our city,” Wessler said. “Muslims in Maine and across the U.S. deserve the same respect as all others who live here. They serve in our armed forces, teach in our schools and care for our sick. On September 11, Muslim firefighters and paramedics courageously stayed in the Twin Towers trying to save lives.”

According to media reports, someone spray-painted threatening messages this morning on the wall of the Maine Muslim Community Center, located in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood. The phrases included “Osama today Islam tomorow (sic),” “Long Live the West,” “Go Home” and “Free Cyprus.”

The vandalism was found hours after the announcement that U.S. special forces killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist group and the proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, on Sunday in Pakistan.

“The death of Bin Laden should be a call for the end of terrorism worldwide,” Wessler said. “It should not be the beginning of bigotry in our state. We are better than that.”

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