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Police treating mosque break-in as possible hate crime

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — St. Paul police say they have increased patrols around local mosques and Islamic community centers after an early-morning break-in at a mosque caused thousands of dollars in damage.
A department spokesman tells the Star Tribune that police are treating the episode on Saturday as a possible “bias-motivated crime” — as they would any incident targeting a house of worship.
Mosque officials believe the damage will cost $5,000 to $7,000 to repair.
The suspect allegedly scrawled some “rambling” messages on a whiteboard in the imam’s office at Darul Iman Masjid.
The messages included writing “Merry Xmas” and making references to “Jesus,” and “God.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations interpreted as them “apparent hate messages.”
Mosque officials believe the damage will cost $5,000 to $7,000 to repair.