They come to pray and worship, but some in Waterbury’s Muslim community said they’re coming under constant harassment.
For the last two days, police have investigated reports of members being chased and verbally assaulted at the Masjid Al-Mostafa in Waterbury.
It is the middle of the Ramadan, which is a very important religious month, so places of worship are busy throughout the day and night.
“We are worshipping and praying, like I said, it's a special service,” said Naveed Khan, of Masjid Al Mostafa.
The last two nights, mosque officials said some members have been threatened, even followed as they were leaving services.
“More than one person is trying to chase the members, they follow the members up and down the street and it's just verbally abusive,” Khan said.
Police are investigating and volunteer security guards have been posted at the entrance, trying to ensure a safe place of worship, but mosque officials said even they have become the targets of drive-by bigotry.
“So far there's no physical altercation, but the threat is there,” Khan said.
Police are working leads, but worshippers said there have been multiple cars involved. Neighbors said they are shocked, and vow to step in if they see any injustice.
“That's not right, I don't feel good because you're supposed to love everyone,” said neighbor Miguelina Escarraman.
“I wouldn't just sit back, let it go and let it happen. If I see it happening I will say something to somebody,” said neighbor Gerod Robinson.
Mosque officials said they want this investigated as a hate crime and will go to the FBI.
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