TRACY (CBS13) – A Tracy mosque is asking for a federal investigation after the center was firebombed on Saturday.
Shattered glass and burn scars from an apparent Molotov cocktail assault mark the Tracy Islamic Center. A hateful act of firebombing and a clear sign of ignorance, religious leaders say.READ MORE: Structure Fire Spreads To Vegetation In Tahoe National Forest Near Camptonville; Evacuation Order Issued
“Because we are in this community, living in this same area the last fifteen years,” religious leader Mohemmed Arain said.
Arain says the Tracy mosque never gets complaints. But Saturday morning, members discovered the vandalism before morning prayer.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is demanding it be investigated as a hate crime.
“We have to come together as a country, as a nation, and just remain united,” said Basim Elkarra from CAIR.
Elkarra, speaking from a multi-faith event, talked about the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide.READ MORE: UC Davis Assistant Water Polo Coach Arrested On Charges Related To Child Pornography
“More attempted firebombing, mosque in Houston burned Christmas Day and another incident in Coachella,” Elkarra said. “So now it’s hitting closer and closer to home and it is frightening.”
Elkarra believes the way to combat hate is to educate.
In Alameda, an Islamic community attempted to do just that at a packed meeting open to the public Sunday evening.
“Islam is about peace congeniality, caring respecting one another,” a speaker said.
The meeting comes just two weeks after vandals broke out a window at their center.
Many say the recent terror attack in San Bernardino is fueling more threats and violence. But Arain says true religious leaders stand for peace and welcomes anyone to come ask questions about their religion.MORE NEWS: Firefighters: Series Of Freeport Boulevard Grass Fires Were Intentionally Set
“Please come and join with us, see us what we are doing. This is a prayer facility,” Arain said.