Coral Springs man takes Quran from Boca Raton mosque, rips out pages

Abdelrhim Abdelghani blamed Assalam Center for ex-wife's suicide attempt

Abdelrhim Abdelghani, 41, is accused of taking a Quran from the Assalam Center and ripping out pages while shouting profanities at a Boca Raton intersection.

BOCA RATON, Fla. – A Coral Springs man was arrested Monday after he walked into a Boca Raton mosque, took a Quran, walked outside and began ripping pages out of the book while shouting profanities, police said.

Abdelrhim Abdelghani, 41, faces charges of burglary and criminal mischief to a place of worship.

According to a Boca Raton police report, Abdelghani walked inside the Assalam Center on Northwest Fourth Avenue and took a Quran that was sitting on a shelf. Abdelghani then walked outside, ignoring a witness who shouted that he wasn't allowed to be there, stood at the intersection of Northwest Fourth Avenue and Northwest 15th Vista, and began ripping out pages from the book and throwing them to the ground while shouting profanities about the Quran and Islamic religion, police said.

By the time police arrived, three men were on top of Abdelghani, holding him down.

According to the report, Abdelghani charged two of the men when they approached him, kicking and punching them. A third witness across the street ran to help them restrain Abdelghani.

Abdelghani told police he came to the mosque "to curse the Islamic religion," the report said. He claimed his ex-wife attended services there two years ago when she was told that she was possessed by "demons and evil spirits."

Police said Abdelghani had learned his ex-wife "attempted suicide and lost all of her limbs."

"Abdelghani said the Assalam Center was responsible for [his ex-wife's] attempted suicide and that his anger was directed towards the center," the report said.

The Palestine-born man also faces battery charges. He was issued a trespassing warning and booked into jail, where he remained Thursday morning in lieu of a $20,000 bond.