Shots Fired Through Window Of Mosque

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) - Seven shots were fired through a window of the Islamic Community Center in this Akron suburb before anyone arrived for religious classes Sunday morning, police said.

No arrests have been made, according to Det. Jim McGowan, who said he was unaware of any increased police security at the mosque Monday.

Sgt. Dale Gramley said officers were called to the mosque at 2 p.m. Sunday after the holes were found in the window of the prayer hall.

It was believed the shooting took place between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., before about 120 children and 15 adults arrived at 10 a.m. for Sunday school.

"We are all obviously upset" about the shooting, said Dr. Ihsan Ul Haque, president of the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent.

Gramley said no arrests have been made and the department's detective bureau is investigating.

U.S. Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Akron, who was notified of the incident Sunday by Haque, said it sounds like a hate crime.

"It doesn't sound like it happened by accident," Sawyer said.

Sawyer said the FBI should help.

"For some idiot to go out and fire off shots into a house of worship is appalling," Sawyer said.

Rabbi John Spitzer of Temple Israel in Canton called the incident at the mosque "a violation of sacred space."

Spitzer, speaking before his congregation began its Yom Kippur service Sunday night, called the shootings a terrible thing.

"We want to reach out in prayer and love to our brothers and sisters at the mosque," Spitzer said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)