CAIR-Philadelphia Welcomes Charges in Vandalism Targeting Mosque, Encourages Attendance on Friday in Show of Solidarity

(PHILADELPHIA, PA – 2/28/2023) – The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) today welcomed the arrest of the suspect allegedly involved in vandalism targeting Masjidullah – The Center for Human Excellence mosque in the West Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia.

[MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR-Philadelphia is encouraging Muslim community and interfaith allies to attend the show of solidarity press conference organized by Philadelphia City Commissioner Omar Sabir.
WHAT: Interfaith United Against Hate Press Conference
WHEN: Friday, March 3rd, 11:00am
WHO: Muslim leaders and Interfaith Allies
WHERE: Masjidullah: 7401 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA 19138]
CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, PhD; 617-401-5397 (mobile),  

Security cameras caught a male suspect spray-painting symbols and phrases – including “Jesus Christ” – on the walls and doors of Masjidullah – The Center for Human Excellence on Feb. 24.  

A police report was filed on Sunday and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) made an arrest on the case on Monday, Feb, 28. The suspect is charged with institutional vandalism and criminal mischief.  

SEE: Caught on camera: Faith leaders join in show of unity after vandalism at East Mount Airy mosque  

In response to the arrest, Imam Idris Abdul-Zahir, resident imam of Masjidullah, said:

“The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming. Masjidullah stood in the face of Anti-Muslim hate but by no means did we ever stand alone. Thank you to PPD – 14th District for the swift arrest. Special thanks to our Christian & Jewish friends for their unwavering support.”  

SEE: Suspect charged after Philadelphia mosque vandalized with paint

In a statement, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu said:

“We welcome the Philadelphia Police Department’s swift response and arrest in this case. It is important to all Philadelphians that attacks on houses of worship of any faith will not be tolerated. The Masjidullah community showed a perfect example of resilience in the face of one such attack.”  

To report any bias incidents, contact CAIR-Philadelphia’s Civil Rights Department by submitting a report at

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, PhD; 617-401-5397 (mobile),

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