AUSTIN, Texas — A vandal strikes again. Austin police officers are searching for the man they believe has vandalized property in the Muslim community multiple times.
The broken glass doors at New Madina Market on North Lamar Boulevard mirror a shattered sense of security. Yusuf Khan’s family owns the Middle-Eastern grocery store.
“We’re innocent people, we’re peaceful people, we don’t deserve this,” Khan said.
The store’s surveillance footage from Thursday morning shows a man approaching the store around 2:24 a.m. Within seconds, he smashed eight glass windows with a hammer before running off.
“I was just completely shocked. Why would someone want to do that to our store? What did we do to deserve this? I was just like disgusted,” Khan said.
New Madina Market opened 13 years ago and has never experienced a crime of this magnitude. In the past week, it has been vandalized twice. It first happened early Monday morning.
“I just feel like this individual is, you know, he’s filled with a lot of hate. It comes from a place of ignorance. It’s just not fair, for us,” Khan said. “We’re just regular people just trying to make a living.”
At this time, Austin police believe the same person damaged property at the mosque located just two miles to the north. Khan’s family has been going to the North Austin Muslim Community Center for years. Someone broke glass and slashed tires there early this month.
“When one of us is attacked, we all come together to defend one another and that’s really the American spirit,” said Imam Islam Mossaad. “The spirit that this country is founded upon is a nation of immigrants. It’s a nation with different religious backgrounds.”
While the fear in the Muslim community remains, they are turning to the support of others and the foundation of their faith.
“We love all our neighbors and we’re all about peace and love, that is what Islam was about,” Khan said.
In response to the incidents, the Austin Police Department the Council on American Islamic Relations are holding a safety presentation for community members Friday night at the North Austin Muslim Community Center.