NBC10 - Tim Furlong
NBC10's Tim Furlong reports from Newark where the Islamic Society of Delaware was vandalized.
Leaders of the Islamic Society of Delaware say they are puzzled why anyone would vandalize their community center in Newark.
The vandal hit sometime during the overnight hours-- tearing down a fence and using rocks to damage a digital sign. Pieces of that fence were then used to make a cross, that was tied together by string.
Leaders tell NBC10's Tim Furlong that the center has a great relationship with everyone in the community and they don't know why they were targeted.
"We need to send a strong signal to the person who did this, you are a coward. You did the cowardly act and you are a big loser," said Mohamed Allium Ioa. "If you have any guts or if you want to know anything, come and talk to us. We want to talk to you."
This type of crime hasn't happened in the town before, but local Muslims say these kinds of things do happen.
"It is usually someone who is influenced by these stereotypes against Islam and Muslims and they are just sending a message that you are not welcome in our community," Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America said.
Now, Delaware State Police and the FBI are investigating the case and working to determine if it was a hate crime.
The mosque has a surveillance system, but the cameras don't get a good look out at the entrance along Salem Church Road.
Anyone with information is asked to call Delaware State Police.