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Restaurant, Mosque Near Loop Defaced
Chicago Tribune
December 06, 2005

By Jason George
Staff Reporter


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/north/chi-0512060181dec06,1,5276105.story?coll=chi-newslocalnorth-hed

A Greektown mosque and restaurant was vandalized during the weekend, leaving worshipers wondering why their house of worship was targeted.

"Viva Mexican. Isan Diablo," was written in red marker more than 30 times Saturday morning on the walls of Kabab Corner, 760 W. Jackson Blvd., and of the mosque in the restaurant's basement that is popular with cabdrivers.

Copies of the Koran were also placed in trash bags, and the pulpit where sermons are delivered was turned on its side, said Mohamed Addelrahim, the owner.

"This could be an issue of a disgruntled employee. But seeing as how they wrote `diablo' in a mosque, it could very well be a hate crime too," said Ahmed Rehab, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, a Muslim advocacy group. Rehab is Addelrahim's cousin.

"Diablo" is Spanish for "devil. . ."

The vandalism is being investigated as a criminal defacement of property, not as a hate crime, said John Mirabelli, a Chicago police spokesman.

He added that he does not suspect a current or former employee. "I don't have a employee who does this," Addelrahim said.

He's worried that "Isan"--not a relevant word in either Spanish or English--is a misspelling of "Islam."

"I think they didn't know how to spell Islam," he said Monday. "I haven't threatened anyone. I just want to have a nice place the cabdrivers can come to. I want it to be a home for them."

copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune