Woman leaves death threat in mosque, official says

By Kelly Rush, Staff Writer


POMONA - A woman has been accused of walking into a
mosque and leaving a written death threat, decorated
with drawings of the Christian cross and signed with
her name and thumbprint, on the mosque's pulpit.

After placing the note on the pulpit, the woman, who
was not named, walked back through the mosque, turned
to a female parishioner and said, "You see this face?
Remember this face. I'll be back," said Radwan Hafuda,
vice president of the Islamic Center of Claremont in

Hafuda said the Feb. 3 incident was recorded by a
security camera inside the mosque.

The threat, which read "We will kill every last one of
you; we are at war," recently was made public by the
Southern California office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations.

Cathy Viray, spokeswoman for the FBI, said the agency
was looking into the matter, but declined to comment

Hafuda said the threat has shaken parishioners. Mosque
leaders now are considering adding security features,
including a guard and more cameras. Local police have
added patrols around the center as well, he said.

Hafuda said the woman is not a member of the mosque,
and church members do not recall ever seeing her

It is unclear whether the woman acted alone or whether
she is affiliated with any groups, religious or

Pomona police and Los Angeles County Sheriff's
officials could not confirm whether the woman has been

Muslim leaders said the Pomona incident is the latest
in a string of recent vandalisms and possible
bias-related attacks at mosques throughout the nation.

In December, a pipe bomb detonated at an Ohio mosque,
causing major damage to the front door and windows,
said Ra'id Faraj, spokesman for the Council on
American-Islamic Relations. Incidents also were
reported at mosques in Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Florida, Texas, Nebraska and New York, the
organization reported.

"The community doesn't take it lightly," Faraj said.
"Every now and then there has been an incident,
depending on the atmosphere (toward Muslims) around
the world. But definitely, this is not the norm. The
majority of American Islamic centers are welcomed in
the communities."

Hafuda believes the woman's actions were motivated by
"demonizing" of Muslims as radical terrorists, yet
just a "fraction of a fraction" of Muslims act out in
violent ways, he said.

"It's part of this huge misunderstanding; this
stereotyping of Muslims that is being reinforced," he

He called on people of all faiths to demonstrate
understanding of each others' cultures and religions. 


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