MCKINNEY –– The local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is requesting authorities classify the vandalism of a McKinney mosque over the weekend as a hate crime.
Members of the McKinney Islamic Association were shocked to find their place of worship at 2940 W. Eldorado Parkway was the target of paintballers early Sunday morning. More than two dozen were fired at the mosque.
"This country was built on religious freedom. Intolerance in the last five to 10 years is really disturbing to our families," said association board member Shahrukh Kureishy.
McKinney police and FBI agents gathered evidence, taking paintball samples while searching for any other clues. But they have little to go on –– someone turned off power to the mosque last week, making video cameras inoperable.
Recently too, a mosque member was followed home, later discovering his car had been hit by a paintball. The compounding effect of these incidences is prompting the Collin County chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to call for the hate crime classification.
“I don’t think we should take anything lightly. What could be a kid's prank today could escalate into something a little bit more dangerous and violent,” said CAIR director Bilal Khaleeq.
In the meantime, mosque members are taking extra precautions and police are stepping up patrols in the area after reports of unruly teenagers in the area.