The New Britain Police Department is investigating a possible hate crime.
Islamic Center of Central Connecticut President Omer Abdelgader arrived home on Wednesday and found a T-shirt scrawled with anti-Muslim messaging attached to a telephone pole outside his house.
“9/11 is not a joke,” Abdelgader said. “What are you planning. What's your plan?”
The New Britain Police Department said the city’s diversity is its strength. The Islamic Center of Central Connecticut is a peaceful place where people can come and pray.
“Never in a million years suspected any hate crime in this community,” Abdelgader said.
On Friday, a group of political and religious leaders met to support Abdelgader and denounce whoever is responsible. New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell said the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“It absolutely will not be tolerated,” Wardwell said. “We will determine exactly what happened to identify the person involved we are very confident of that.”
Abdelgader said he hopes he can turn this sad situation into a learning lessons. He admitted the shirt was hurtful at first, but now he'd just like to invite the person who made it to the Islamic Center of Central Connecticut.
“I want him to see the amount of good we do with our community,” Abdelgader said. “I want to introduce him to the real Islam.”
Abdelgader said the love he's received from New Britain and beyond has helped him move forward. Abdelgader said he believes the incident can even be a positive.
“Part of my message is forgiveness my faith built in forgiveness,” Abdelgader said. “If I don't forgive him who will.”
The New Britain Police Department has multiple detectives investigating the incident and criminal charges could be filed against the suspect.
Anyone with information with any information about the incident is asked to cal the New Britain Police Department at 860-826-3000.
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