Mercer County Islamic Center targeted by vandals - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Feds to investigate vandalism of Islamic Center

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Photo by Paul Hess Photo by Paul Hess

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin Friday issued the following statement regarding vandalism at the Islamic Center of the Appalachian Region in Princeton, West Virginia, earlier this week:

"The vandalism of any place of worship violates our country's most sacred values, so the defacement of the Islamic Center of the Appalachian Region is an affront to all of us. My office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working closely with local authorities and will pursue this matter aggressively," says U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

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PRINCETON (WVVA) - The largest Muslim civil rights organization in the nation wants the vandalism at a Mercer County Islamic center investigated as a hate crime.

In a news release issued Thursday The Council on American-Islamic Relations said, called on federal investigators to join the local investigation into the vandalism.

Graffiti painted on walls, doors and signs at the center made obscene references to Allah -- the Arabic word for God.

Click here to read the full news release.

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PRINCETON (WVVA) - A local Islamic center has been targeted by vandals.

Explicit language, derogatory symbols, and lines have been spray-painted on two exterior walls and the entrance sign of the center, located in Green Valley near U.S. Route 460.

Due to the graphic nature, WVVA has chosen not to post photos of all the graffiti painted on the building.

Dr. Abdul Piracha, a member of the Islamic Center, tells WVVA News that the vandalism happened sometime between Sunday evening and Monday afternoon.

The Mercer County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation. The center has since been added to its list of patrols.

Piracha says the center is been in operation for 25 years. He says the only other time it has been targeted by vandals was directly after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Islamic Center will have to be professionally cleaned. Piracha says they plan to beef up security as well.

If you have any information about this case you are urged to call the Mercer County Sheriff's Office.

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