The Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City was fired upon by paintballs early Sunday, and the vandals fled the scene before they were apprehended.
About 2:45 a.m., the vandals pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Mosque, 3201 NW 48, and fired upon the building’s doors, Hassan Ahmed, the mosque’s imam and director said.
“A car pulled here in front of the main entrance and started shooting paintball guns, but at the time, I didn’t know it was that. I thought it was bullets they were shooting into the building. And I could hear when I was coming from the house, but before I reached there, they were gone,” Ahmed said.
Police arrived a few minutes later, but by that time, the vandals were gone.
Dove World Outreach Center pastor Terry Jones on Saturday burned copies of the Quran and an image depicting Muhammad in front of his church to protest the imprisonment in Iran of a Christian clergyman.
Moments later, Gainesville Fire Rescue issued the church a citation for violating the city’s fire ordinances.
Saturday’s act of protest took place in spite of published reports that the Pentagon had urged Jones to reconsider, expressing concern that American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere could be put at greater risk because of the act.
About 20 people gathered Saturday on church property at 5805 NW 37th Street about 5 p.m. for the planned burning. Several Gainesville police officers were stationed across the street from the church or were patrolling the area. A few people watched the scene, but there were no protesters.
Jones and another pastor demanded the release of the Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from an Iranian prison. Jones said Nadarkhani faces execution.