Graffiti Mars New Muslim center.(METROPOLITAN)

Article excerpt

Byline: Carol Johnson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A Muslim group whose mosque was vandalized after the September 11 terrorist attacks found hate-based graffiti yesterday on its newly built community center in Sterling, Va..

Loudoun County sheriff's deputies received a call at about 8:30 a.m. yesterday from members of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, who had found swastikas and ethnic slurs spray-painted on the rear entrance of its new community center. The center, at 46903 Sugarland Road, is expected to open in October or November, said society President Rizwan Jaka.

The vandalism occurred sometime between 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. yesterday, said Kraig Troxell, public information officer for the sheriff's department. There are no suspects in the case, and anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703/777-0475.

Yasir Syeed, a member of the society's community relations committee, said the group has been in Northern Virginia since 1983, but the center on Sugarland Road will be its first permanent home and took a decade of hard work to build.

"For us, it's a symbol of our permanence in the area ... of our hopes and our dreams and what we've labored for for a long time," Mr. Syeed said.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society is in a rented storefront at 46970 Community Plaza in Sterling and serves about 1,400 families, Mr. Syeed said.

On Sept. 12, 2001 - a day after Muslim extremists flew hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon - someone broke into the building and painted obscene graffiti in the worship hall and on the outside of the building. …