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St. Cloud mosque vandalized for 4th time in a month

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Leaders of the Central Minnesota Islamic Center in St. Cloud are expressing fears for public safety after the mosque was vandalized for the fourth time in December.

No one was hurt when someone broke a window at the mosque on Monday night, said Mosque spokesman Mohamoud Mohamed. In the past, vandals have thrown rocks and other objects at the mosque and dented windows, he said.

Mohamed said St. Cloud community has generally been very accepting of Muslims be said he thinks terrorist activity abroad may have inspired vandalism at a mosque in the Minnesota city.

Mosque members bought a St. Cloud church and converted it into the Islamic Center two years ago. Mohamed said most of the parishioners are refugees.

Mohamed, who has worked with refugees and immigrants in the St. Cloud area for almost 15 years, said he'd like to see more cultural education programs in the area.

"Last several years there were no activities targeting that kind of program in the area. And now we are experiencing this kind of situation," he said. 

The St. Cloud Times reports St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said investigators don't have any solid proof that the incidents are connected, but he doesn't believe it's a coincidence. They've increased police presence in the area, he said.