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Tuesday, September 14, 2004; Page B03

THE DISTRICT

AU Muslim Prayer Room Vandalized

Campus police at American University are investigating the vandalism of a Muslim prayer room that was discovered Saturday, the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

University officials said that someone smashed the glass of a framed picture of a mosque, leaving shards scattered on the carpet, and tore pages in a copy of the Koran.

The room, in the campus's Kay Spiritual Center, is left open round-the-clock for worshipers. Sarah Ahmed, president of the Muslim Student Association, said the damage was discovered Saturday afternoon by an association officer.

"It was shocking and disturbing, aside from the fact that it was highly dangerous," she said. "People walk in there barefoot to pray, and there was glass all over the place."

University spokesman Todd Sedmak said campus police are trying to determine a motive and do not have suspects.

"We deplore this behavior, and we're working to find out who did it and why."

MARYLAND

Ruling Expected on Nader Being on Ballot

An Anne Arundel County Circuit judge is expected to rule today on a challenge by presidential candidate Ralph Nader to gain a spot on the Maryland ballot.

The State Board of Elections determined last month that the Populist Party had fallen 537 signatures short of the 10,000 valid signatures needed to secure a spot for Nader on the Nov. 2 ballot.

An attorney for Nader argued in court yesterday that 618 names that were declared invalid should be allowed.

Those signatures represented real voters, but they were erroneously listed on pages from counties in which the voters did not reside.

Two Prince George's School Buses Crash

Two busloads of school-age children were taken to the hospital yesterday afternoon to be screened for injuries after a minor accident involving two Prince George's County school buses, police said.

At least five children and a bus driver were treated for minor injuries after complaining of neck and back pain, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a department spokeswoman.


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