A Muslim advocacy organization recently called threats to a Nebraska Islamic Center a hate crime. The appeal to authorities comes after Omaha Islamic Center received email threats and has been vandalized.
The threatening email was reportedly received after the March 22 terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium were claimed by ISIS, reports the Scottsbluff Star Herald.
“Your so-called peaceful religion just killed more innocent people. We think it is now time to start fighting back starting with you. Believe it. See you in hell,” reads the allegedly threatening email.
In response, the Muslim center alerted authorities to the threat, reports the Omaha World Herald.
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“We call on local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to take this threat seriously, to investigate it as a hate crime and to bring the perpetrator to justice,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The Omaha Islamic Center condemned the fatal ISIS attacks in Brussels, Turkey and Lebanon, according to spokesperson Mohammed Rasheed.
“A lot of people are getting killed, including Muslims. They are killing everybody, basically humanity, and we condemn that,” said Rasheed.
After the Muslim center was a target of vandalism throughout the last two years, Rasheed said that the Muslim community takes the threat seriously.
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Acts of vandalism at the center included spray paint on a wall, rocks thrown through glass doors, and raw bacon placed on a door handle.
“We are definitely concerned about it. We don’t want to take anything lightly,” said Rasheed.
Rasheed said that law enforcement has been helpful in dealing with threats to the Omaha center.
“We are all around happy with the FBI, as well as the police department,” he said.
Rasheed emphasized that the Omaha Center is trying to educate all people in Nebraska about Islam.
“Our message to the community is to come and learn about Muslims, not to have these feelings in their hearts that are influenced by outside-the-country incidents. This violence is not part of Islam,” said Rasheed.