Earlier this month the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced at a news conference the arrest of Mark Fagin, 40, of Agoura Hills, Ca on charges of making criminal threats to staff of the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC). A cache of weapons was found in Fagin’s home. These included multiple firearms and ammunition though, citing the pendency of investigation, the LAPD declined to reveal their provenance.
According to a police spokesperson, Fagin spoke of his “hatred of Muslims and his belief that Muslims will destroy the United States.” Many in the community asked whether rampant Islamophobia had played a part in this event.
A press conference was held at the ICSC shortly after the arrest was announced. Leaders from the ICSC, the law enforcement community, city officials and interfaith allies of the Muslim community were present. The show of solidarity was impressive and indicated that Muslims will not be intimidated and will be stronger with their alliances.
The Islamic Center of Southern California was founded in 1952 and at the time was the first mosque to be built in the Los Angles area.
Mr, Fagin is due to appear in court on November 10.
In a letter addressed to the “our friends and partners in the Muslim community” the LAPD assured the community that, while Fagin was able to post bail, he is under a restraining order, and the LAPD is taking appropriate measures to insure the safety of the Muslim community. The LAPD reiterated its pride in the partnership it has formed with the Muslim community. The letter was signed by Chief of Police, Charlie Beck and Deputy Chief, Michael Downing.
Mr. Downing and Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, attended Jummah prayers at the ICSC this past Friday. They gave remarks at the end of the service. The ICSC since its founding has been in the forefront of interfaith education and activity in the Los Angeles area. Its primary founder, the late Dr. Maher Hathout, was a beloved figure in the Los Angeles community until his death early last year.
The Muslim Observer will keep our readers abreast of the the case