Possible Bias Crime at Boontown Islamic Center Under Investigation

January 19, 2006

Source: Daily Record


On January 19, 2006 the Daily Record reported, "Members of the Jam e Masjid Islamic Center on Harrison Street were shocked when they discovered a large American flag nailed above the mosque's doorway. Police are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime. The incident came only one day after a controversial planning board meeting. Mosque leaders have an application pending before the board to expand the facility with a 4,000-square-foot, multistory addition that will include the construction of a traditional dome and minaret. The project, which requires three variances, has generated opposition in the neighborhood from residents who are concerned because the proposal does not also include a parking lot expansion. On Fridays, during prayer services, the streets get busy as members search for parking... The flag was draped vertically over the door and nailed to the building. Since the incident, police have increased patrols in the area both night and day, Beltran said. Police believe there may be a connection between the flag-nailing incident and the planning board application."