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Orange County mosque hit by anti-Islamic vandalism

January 4, 2010 |  3:55 pm

Police patrols have increased at an Orange County mosque after the religious institution was hit with a hate attack, authorities said.

A burned and torn copy of the Koran was found during New Year's Day prayers at the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County. It was the second time in about two weeks that a desecrated Koran was found at the mosque, according to KTLA News.

 "This deplorable incident is a form of anti-Islamic assault, hate crime and terror campaign against American Muslims," a statement on the Costa Mesa mosque's website read. "Even more, it is a great offense against 1.2 billion Muslim followers worldwide because it defiles their holiest and most sacred divine book."

Fatma Saleh, who sits on the education center’s board, told the Daily Pilot that on Friday afternoon one of its members found the book in the parking lot. The member took it to the center’s leader, Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini.

Saleh said the desecration of the Koran probably was backlash from the alleged attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day by a Nigerian Muslim.

-- Shelby Grad