Anaheim police Wednesday were investigating a “hate incident” involving a bullet-riddled copy of the Quran that was found stuffed in a mail slot of an Islamic clothing store.
The incident apparently had nothing to do with the San Bernardino mass shootings as it took place more than a day before the killings in the Inland empire.
A businesswoman found the vandalized holy text in the front door of her Anaheim store about 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Al-Farah Islamic Clothing store in a strip mall at 521 S. Brookhurst St., which is in the neighborhood known as Little Arabia, Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
It appears it was shot multiple times, Wyatt said.
“There’s no confirmation of that forensically, but it certainly looks like it,” Wyatt said.
The title of the book is “Quran in English.” The book’s cover reads that it is a “Modern English Translation Clear and Easy to Understand.”
At this time no crime has been established, so it is not a hate crime, but a “hate incident,” Wyatt said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Greater Los Angeles Area office has called on the FBI to investigate. Wyatt said his department has been in touch with the FBI, but Anaheim is the lead law enforcement agency on the investigation at this time.
“They’re evaluating to see if it is a federal case,” Wyatt said.
A window at the store was shattered in August, but there is nothing to indicate a connection, Wyatt said.
“Anyone has the right to be a bigot, but when that bigotry is expressed through the targeting of individuals or businesses through acts of intimidation similar to a cross burning it crosses the line into criminal behavior,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said. “If you shoot up a Quran on your own property, that is bigoted freedom of expression. If you deliver that bullet-riddled Quran to a Muslim home or business, that is an act of intimidation and a hate crime.”
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS. Anonymous tips are welcome.
— City News Service