A prominent Muslim advocacy organization is calling for a federal investigation after a tractor-trailer rammed into a mosque in Laurel.
About 11 p.m. on Sept. 5, surveillance video from the Islamic Community Center of Laurel’s parking lot appeared to capture a white tractor-trailer backing into the mosque, pulling away and then backing into the mosque again.
No one was in the mosque at the time, but railings and an awning were damaged, according to a statement from the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group.
Ibrahim Zuberi, the mosque’s president, said there’s no reason a truck would be in a residential area at that time of night making a U-turn in the narrowest part of the mosque’s parking lot.
“There’s the obvious problem of a person making that impact and not reporting it,” Zuberi said. “Some type of crime has taken place, regardless of the bias potential.”
Laurel police confirmed that the mosque had filed a report.
The Islamic Community Center opened in Laurel in the 1980s, Zuberi said. Earlier this year, someone verbally abused parishioners in the parking lot, he said, and someone urinated at the front of the mosque last year during Ramadan.
“Everyone’s already on edge,” he said.
CAIR condemned the incident and called for federal action.
“In light of the hostile political climate impacting the American Muslim community, and because of the spike in hate crimes and threats targeting Muslims and their institutions, we urge federal law enforcement authorities to add their resources to the investigation to help bring the perpetrators to justice and to establish a motive for this disturbing crime,” Zainab Chaudry, CAIR outreach manager for Maryland, said in a statement.