Bilal Huzair of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque said, "If it was a hate crime, so be it. They need to be charged as a hate crime."
For now, five teenagers from the Orleans County Town of Holley are charged with the misdemeanor count of Disrupting a Religious Service Monday night during night service at the mosque on Fuller Road in the Town of Carlton.
"We heard two cars that were screaming and driving back and forth, yelling obscenities, you know against the religion itself. Calling us Muslim **** ****," described Huzair.
This is the holy month of Ramahdan for Muslims and these mosque members say two nights earlier, the same group of 17 and 18-years-olds disrupted their service and even fired a gunshot. 17-year-old Mark Vendetti was charged with an additional felony weapons count.
After the service ended, a member of the mosque spotted the two vehicles at this nearby boat launch and called six other mosque members to block them in the parking lot until police arrived. One of the mosque members sustained minor injuries after being struck by one of the pickup trucks.
Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess said, "Someone could've been hurt or worse, so that's why law enforcement, the District Attorney's office and members of the mosque are all taking this very seriously.
Sheriff Hess has no reason to believe this is connected to recent criticism of plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero. District Attorney Joe Cardone isn't sure whether he'll seek more serious hate crime charges.
"I want to look at the situation and certainly speak with the members of the mosque and get their input on the situation and deal with it appropriately," said Cardone.
17-year-old Mark Vendetti is held on $10,000 bail on the gun charge, the other four teens, 18-year-olds Dylan Phillips, Anthony Ogden and Jeff Donahue and 17-year-old Tim Weader, are due in Carlton Town Court next week to face the misdemeanor counts.
All right, seriously now, knock it the fuck off, America.