Bullet Pierces Texas Mosque During Ramadan

Sunday, September 16th 2007, 6:23 pm
By: News On 6

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) _ A bullet whizzed through the door of an empty mosque here, and police were investigating whether a hate crime was committed.

The bullet pierced the aluminum frame of a glass entry door at The Islamic Center of South Texas on Friday afternoon. The mosque was empty at the time and nobody was injured.

The bullet shattered an exit transom window at the other end of the mosque's central hallway, according to police.

``We're sure it's a high-caliber weapon, based on the damage,'' Corpus Christi police Cmdr. Jesse V. Garcia said.

Pieces of the bullet have been recovered for testing, but police have yet to name any suspects and haven't determined whether the incident is a hate crime.

Osama Bahloul, the spiritual leader of the mosque, is among some 600 members who are celebrating Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer and giving to the poor that started last week.

``We hope this is the end of it,'' Bahloul said. ``But we are genuinely concerned about our people. We have a large number of children here this month, and if he or she did this again someone could be killed.''