Denver Muslim leaders say rock thrown through mosque window in latest hate-related incident

DENVER – Leaders at a Denver mosque say someone threw a rock through its windows Sunday just before one of its prayer sessions in the latest instance of vandalism directed at minority communities over the past several months.

The Colorado Muslim Society says someone threw the rock, which was about the size of a fist, through a window at Masjid Abu Bakr mosque on Sunday.

The Muslim Society says it is “working with the proper authorities” to address the incident.

But the alleged vandalism is one of at least a half-dozen possibly hate-related incidents in Colorado since November.

More threats to at least a dozen Jewish community centers were made again Monday after similar throngs of threats over the past several weeks. The threats also came as at least two Jewish cemeteries – in Philadelphia and St. Louis – were vandalized over the past week, bringing damage to hundreds of headstones.

On Jan. 31, the Boulder Community Jewish Center received an unsubstantiated bomb threat, forcing evacuations.

Days earlier, the FBI joined an investigation into signs left at an Aurora immigrant and refugee center that threatened to “blow up” refugees.

On Feb. 7, the FBI was also called in to help El Paso County Sheriff’s Office investigators work to find out whether or not an Indian family in Peyton, Colo. was the victim of a hate crime. Their home was vandalized with eggs, dog feces, bath tissue, and papers scrawled with messages regarding their racial and ethnic background.

In early January, an 83-year-old Longmont man was pressured by neighbors and the city to take a sign down that read, “Muslim’s kill Muslim’s [sic] if they don’t agree. Where does that leave you, ‘infidel.’”

In November, a Denver transgender woman’s SUV was vandalized with swastikas and transgender hate speech.

Also in January, a self-proclaimed radicalized Muslim shot and killed a security officer working as an RTD guard at Union Station, though officials have not linked that shooting to being a hate crime.

And during the week of Valentine’s Day, Ku Klux Klan members dispersed fliers in at least three Grand Junction neighborhoods urging people to join the group, and to “stop homosexuality & race mixing.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 16 “hate groups” in Colorado that were operating in 2015, including several anti-Muslim and neo-Nazi groups. More on those groups can be found here.

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