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FBI investigating vandalism as hate crime

Posted at 2:33 PM, Mar 03, 2016

PLAINFIELD, Ind. -- The FBI has opened a hate crime investigation after the headquarters of the Islamic Society of North America was vandalized Sunday morning. 

The writings had profanity, racial epithets and references to suicide bombings and ISIS.

According to a spokesperson for the Plainfield Police Department, three suspects were seen on camera just before 7 a.m. Sunday morning. No one is in custody. 

Somebody saw a truck drive away from the building around that time, but didn't think anything of it, Hazem Bata, the Secretary General of the ISNA said.

Bata also thanked the people who committed the crime. 

"I want to thank the vandals for highlighting the fact that the bonds between Muslims and their fellow Americans and the bonds between Muslims and their brothers and sisters in other faiths is stronger than the bond between spray paint and brick. The spray paint is already gone. It's washed away. But our partners are still here. And they're not going anywhere. ... We want to thank the vandals for enabling us to see friends and interfaith partners who otherwise we probably wouldn't have seen for many, many months."

Bata also advised anybody thinking of doing something similar to simply knock instead of vandalizing. 

"If you're going to bother to drive all the way to a mosque, walk up to the front door. Instead of spray painting the wall around the front door, just try knocking instead. We will gladly open our doors to you. We will invite you in. We will answer any questions you have. More than likely, we're going to feed you some really good kebabs and biryani. We're going to break bread together. And you'll walk away with a full stomach, as well as having learned something about your fellow Americans, and probably having made some new friends, rather than having committed a crime."

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