When a serious crime is committed literally right across the street from your alma mater, it hits a little close to home.
In this particular case, a hate crime was committed at a mosque right across the street from my alma mater, UC Davis. I used to bike by that mosque every day, so it was definitely a bit personal for me. I'm glad to see that it was finally resolved yesterday.
About a month ago, the Islamic Center of Davis was the target of a serious hate crime. Windows were smashed, bike tires were slashed, and raw strips of bacon were wrapped around the door handles, creating a total of up to $7,000 in damages.
Bacon and other pork products, of course, are considered to be taboo in Muslim culture, so defacing a mosque with bacon is one of the most offensive things you could do to an Islamic community.
This vandalism quickly became a viral topic in the community, especially because it came shortly after President Donald Trump's infamous travel ban executive order and the cancellation of an event featuring alt-right speaker Milos Yiannopoulos and former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli on the UC Davis campus due to protests.
The FBI and Davis Police teamed up for a month-long investigation after the nearby Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for the FBI to get involved due to the nature of the hate crime.
Yesterday, that investigation concluded with the arrest of a Davis woman, who is being charged with felony vandalism with a hate crime enhancement based on the bacon left on the mosque's doors. Her bail has been set at a whopping ONE MILLION dollars. If convicted, she could face up to six years in prison.
In the meantime, the Davis community has come together to support the Islamic Center, raising over $20,000 to help pay for the damages, increase security, and improve their surveillance system.
It's great to see a community I was once a part of come together and support the battered Islamic population of Davis in a heartfelt manner. Hopefully, we see less of these hate crimes happen as time goes on.