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Man bursts into Islamic center during prayer, president says

Brittany Costello
August 21, 2017 06:51 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It's supposed to be a safe place, a place where the Islamic community can go to practice their faith, and worship. But Faisal Nabulsi, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, says that safety shield was torn down when a man barged into the Islamic Center’s doors, intruding on prayer.

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"This gentleman, he came here quiet intoxicated, half-naked. He was topless," said Nabulsi.

It happened Aug. 18. Nabulsi said the man first ran into a car in the parking lot before entering the Islamic Center shouting, with arms swinging.

"It's really a foul language that we cannot say in public," he said. "You know, the f-word -- f this, f that, f you, f Islams."

Nabulsi claims that man ended up hitting a teen before being taken to the ground by other members of the center. They held him as the police were called, sending a shockwave of fear through the entire community.

"Some of them are debating whether they should come to the place of worship or not," Nabulsi said.

On top of police, Nabulsi is working to file hate crime charges with the FBI. He said he’s hoping to send a message that this type of hate shouldn't be tolerated.

"We are a diverse society and that's our strength as an American society," he said. "Diversity -- diversity is a positive thing."

Nabulsi said they are still waiting for that police report. So far, they do not know the identity of the suspect arrested, they also don't know what charges he will face.

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Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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