FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group is calling on the FBI to investigate a message written in bacon at mosque in Florence.
Three chair members of the Islamic Center in Florence discovered the words "pig" and "chump" written in strips of bacon on the walkway along the mosque Sunday afternoon.
Mushtaq Hussain was one of the members who discovered the message after concluding a prayer gathering. He initially thought the message was a practical joke.
"Then later on, we thought seriously and we thought, ‘You know, somebody doesn't like us,'" he said.
Florence Police Chief Anson Shells says the incident is currently being investigated a form of harassment. Because nothing was done to an actual person, no crime has technically been committed. They are looking into a possible bias motive for the latest incident.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the Florence mosque was defaced.
"We urge the FBI to add this incident to the growing list of possible bias-motivated attacks on American Muslims and their institutions," CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said.
The police department does not have any leads on a suspect. In the interim, they will increase the number patrols near the mosque.
Hussain said this is the second time someone has vandalized the mosque. Earlier this year, vandals broke windows in the facility. Apart from these incidents, Hussain said the center has never had problems before.
"People are nice around here. I don't see anything, you know, serious, but you know, whoever did this, they mean something," Hussain said.
"Shame on them," said Darryl Hughee, who lives across the street from the mosque. "Whoever did what they did, it has to be a mental thing, you know."
He said the Islamic center has had a positive influence on the community.
Hussain says he is not offended by what was done.
"He will pay for it himself," he said about the person behind the act. He sees this incident as a simple case of ignorance.
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