Hudson, NY – Arrests in connection with the vandalism of a mosque in Hudson have eased tensions in the Hudson Valley city, while the organizer of a gathering in Saratoga hopes it will help bridge understanding between muslims and non-muslims. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Police in the city of Hudson say Christopher Osborn and Roy Francis, both 20, and 19-year-old James Glover III, were arrested Thursday. The men, all from Hudson, were charged with aggravated harassment, misdemeanor conspiracy, making graffiti, and the hate crime aspect of the charges, misdemeanor criminal mischief. Investigators determined that the men painted a racial slur on the back wall of the Hudson Islamic Center just after midnight Wednesday. The vulgar graffiti was first discovered by worshippers who showed upa the mosque for prayer around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera says the community is breathing "a giant sigh of relief." If convicted, the three vandals could face up to seven-years in prison. Scalera says the timing of the incident was unfortunate.
Designed to ease tensions amid threats from a Florida pastor to burn the Quran, "Unburnable Qurans" will feature students and professors of Skidmore College who are Muslim or are scholars about Islam and Islamic culture. The public is welcome to hold conversations with and have questions answered by the speakers. "Unburnable" digital copies of the Quran will be available for browsing. Skidmore student Alex Brehm is organizer for the event, which he says will have no prepared remarks or speeches. The event will run from 2 to 4pm on Saturday September 11th at the Campus's Case Center Patio.