Tucson police investigating Saturday vandalism, assault at mosque

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 12:03pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 12:08pm

Tucson police are investigating an altercation that took place at a local mosque this past weekend.

Video surveillance shows a group throwing punches at two men arriving at the Islamic Center of Tucson for morning prayer on Saturday. One victim suffered a black eye. The group is also seen vandalizing the building.

The incident is not being investigated as a hate crime, Tucson police said, but Azza Abuseif, the executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, thinks it should be. 

“I find that hard to believe especially at the mosque and because so many incidents have happened, right? It’s hard for me to believe that it was just an incident, like a coincidence that they were just hanging out there," she said. 

CAIR is calling on law enforcement to increase security around the mosque following the incident, as well as all mosques and other houses of worship statewide.

“Professional security probably or members at least during prayer times right to make sure folks are feeling safe in there, that there’s not someone breaking in especially with the rise of these incidents," Abuseif said.