Palm Beach County to Prosecute Hate Crime Suspect

December 1, 2002

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

On December 1, 2002 the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that "a construction company owner has been charged with a misdemeanor hate crime after two Boca Raton [FL] police officers said they watched him set fire to a sign announcing the new site of a mosque. George Aboujawdeh, 45, is the first person in Palm Beach County to be prosecuted for a hate crime directed at Muslims since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, said Michael Edmondson, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office. Aboujawdeh, a Catholic who was born and raised in Lebanon, told police that he set the sign on fire because he wanted to send Muslims a message that 'they're not liked here,' according to police reports."