Kenner Muslim school, home vandalized



Obscenities painted on walls, eggs thrown
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
By Mary Swerczek
Kenner bureau

http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/metro/index.ssf?/base/news-13/114171480586020.xml

Kenner police are investigating a pair of incidents of
vandalism during the weekend that apparently targeted
an Islamic school and the nearby home of a Pakistani
man.

"There's no doubt in my mind that there's somebody
with a hatred," said Rahman Bhatti, former vice
president of the Jefferson Muslim Association.

At the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans on Maine
Avenue, curse words were spray-painted on the wall and
chewing gum was jammed into the front door's lock,
said Capt. James Gallagher, Kenner police spokesman.

The foul language did not seem to target any specific
individual or group, Gallagher said.

At the home of Ali Mohammad, vandals threw eggs and
condiments on his front door and car, Gallagher said.
Both incidents occurred Saturday night or Sunday
morning.

Mohammad said bacon was also thrown on his car, which
Gallagher could not confirm because he said that
detail was not in the police report. Mohammad and
Bhatti said the pork, which they are prohibited from
eating because of their religion, indicates the
vandals targeted Muslims.

"He knows what our religion is," Bhatti said. "We
don't eat ham, and they threw ham."

Mohammad, who has lived in the United States for 16
years, said he had not reported several other
incidents of vandalism that occurred a few months ago
after he returned from Houston, where he evacuated
because of Hurricane Katrina. But he reported an
incident on Jan. 15 when eggs were thrown against his
house and fireworks were lit on his front porch,
Gallagher said.

School officials had reported two egging incidents in
August before the storm, Gallagher said.

Mohammad said because of the continuing incidents, he
is now increasingly alarmed.

"It's pointing to hatred or racism now," he said.
"Before I thought it was kids having fun."
. . . . . . .
Mary Swerczek can be reached at

mswerczek@timespicayune.com or (504) 467-1726. 





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