Hate-crime probe launched after vandals deface Manteca mosque

Police officials in Manteca, Calif., said Tuesday that they had launched a hate-crime investigation after vandals defaced a mosque with vulgar graffiti and left strips of raw bacon strewn on the ground.

Manteca police Sgt. Jodie Estarziau said officers responded to the Islamic Center of Manteca on Jan. 28 after receiving reports of “spray-painted vulgarities” and pieces of raw bacon that were found in a parking lot just inside the front gate of the property.

Muslims do not eat pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslims, said officials with the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The mosque was targeted previously by vandals who spray-painted offensive graffiti on the property.


“Because of the nature of the vandalism and the fact that the mosque has been targeted in the past, we urged state law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate this disturbing incident as a possible hate crime,” Basim Elkarra, executive director of the council chapter, said in a statement. 

The FBI in Sacramento could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Estarziau said that “the incident is being documented as a hate crime” and urged anyone with information to call police at (209) 456-8167


Twitter: @LAJourno