PERTH, Australia, June 29 (UPI) — A car was set on fire and anti-muslim graffiti left on the walls of a mosque Tuesday night as hundreds worshipped inside.
The “criminal act of hate” took place at the Thornlie Mosque near the Australian Islamic College in the southern part of Perth. Worshippers reported hearing a loud bang and rushed outside to see an SUV on fire and anti-muslim slogans on the walls of the mosque.
Yahya Adel Ibrahim, a teacher at the college, told Facebook followers “the Perth community was visited this evening by hate.”
But Ibrahim pressed for unity, writing, “Thankfully our community won’t start hating and playing blame games and singling out groups of people in our society. This, undoubtedly is a criminal act of hate, but it is the act of a person or group not the greater whole.”
“I know the outpouring of support from the community will be overwhelming,” he added, “because Perth has the best, kindest, and most warm-hearted people.”
Three people were seen running down the alleyway near the mosque shortly after the explosion, a Western Australia police spokeswoman said, The mosque has been sprayed with anti-muslim graffiti before and other mosques in Western Australia have targeted without injury.