Authorities are investigating an act of vandalism at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville after its board members on Monday found the door to the mosque covered in feces.
Faisal Naeem, one of the board members, said the vandals also tore pages of the Quran and threw them to the ground, covered with feces. The incident, which likely happened overnight, has shaken the Muslim American community in the Austin area, already wary of backlash in the wake of terror attacks in Paris last week.
The Islamic Center of Pflugerville has rented space over the past three years inside a strip center in the 15800 block of Windermere Drive.
“We are meeting this evening to see what are our next steps,” Naeem said. “The idea of Austin being an oasis has been shattered for us. We’re the smallest of all the mosques in the Austin area. We thought we’d be the least attractive to anybody doing anything like this.”
Over the weekend, Austin police had extra patrols monitoring religious institutions for any possible threats.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the Austin Police Department said it was “monitoring events around the globe as well as in our community,” and had increased patrols around sensitive sites.
“We are receiving regular briefs from the Austin Regional Intelligence Center and our federal partners,” the statement said. “APD urges our diverse community to be vigilant and immediately report suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement.
Reporter Katie Urbaszewski contributed to this report.
Follow Jazmine Ulloa on Twitter: @jazmineulloa
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.