California Mosques Hit With 'Jesus' Graffiti
FBI treating vandalism as a hate crime
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2015 5:35 AM CST
This photo provided by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community shows crosses in spray paint on windows at the mosque in Hawthorne, Calif., on Sunday.   (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community via AP)
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(Newser) – In what the FBI and local police are treating as a hate crime, two California mosques in the same city were vandalized with pro-Christian graffiti over the weekend. On Sunday morning, "Jesus Is the Way" was found painted on the front of one mosque in Hawthorne, and the word "Jesus" was on the fence of another, where police found a grenade that turned out to be fake, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police in Hawthorne, which is about an hour away from San Bernardino, say they've been communicating more closely with Islamic centers since the massacre and are working with the FBI and the LA County Sheriff's Department on this investigation, reports CNN.

Last week, a Coachella mosque was set on fire and a pig's head was dumped in front of a Philadelphia mosque amid what Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper tells the New York Times was an "unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents" after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. He blames the surge on heated rhetoric from Donald Trump and others. "Right after 9/11, anti-Muslim hate was on the fringes of society, and now it has been brought right into the mainstream," Hooper says. "It's almost acceptable now to hate Islam and Muslims, and now we see the results." (A Texas group posted the addresses of Muslims and people it labeled "Muslim sympathizers.")