76ºF

South Florida Muslims take caution during Ramadan celebrations

Masjid an-Noor in Kendall holding open house

KENDALL., Fla. – Classes went on as usual at the Islamic School of Miami on Monday. Students sat in class, learning about the Koran, and people came on and off the property to worship at Masjid an-Noor, the mosque that sits across the school.

As peaceful of a scene as it was, little reminders still linger of how the Kendall mosque has been targeted in the past. There are 51 bullet holes in the side of the mosque, leftovers from when an unknown person shot at the house of worship six years ago.

And fresh in the minds of patrons are the memories of a skull, wooden cross and American-flag sunglasses that were left on the property  by Henri Borno in September. He also drove recklessly across the campus, nearly striking several children.

Borno told police he had a hate for Muslims and wanted to harm them – he was never charged for his actions, but was Baker Acted for mental evaluation and told not to come back.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, some Muslims such as, Shabbir Motorwala of the Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations, become concerned about heightened Islamophobia.

Motorwala, who is in close contact with the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and other organizations, said he wishes is that federal agents would let Muslim communities know when possible trouble may be brewing, so they can be aware.

 "We are first ones who will detect radicalized individuals or in our families," Wilfredo Ruiz of the Florida chapter of the Council on American and Islamic relations said.

Ruiz said trainings have been taking place  in mosques all over the state to help religious leaders and parents protect themselves against a violent attack on their community as well as how to identify  behaviors prime for radicalization.

The mosque will be open Monday for an open house as Muslims celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.  The event 7:30 p.m. at Masjid an-Noor is located at 11699 SW 147th Ave.