A Flagstaff man has been arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct after an incident at a Tempe mosque on Sept. 11.
Tempe Police said Michael Estes, 32, cursed at and made other negative comments to Ahmed Al-Shqeirat, an imam at the Islamic Community Center of Tempe, on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"He was asking a lot of questions and he used offensive language," said Brandon Banks, Tempe police spokesperson.
Al-Shqeirat told The Arizona Republic earlier this week that three men entered the mosque at about 3:30 p.m. that day. One of them entered the prayer hall on the second floor of the mosque and asked Al-Shqeirat what he hid in the room. The man was asked to remove his shoes before entering the prayer hall, Al-Shqeirat said, but the man repeated his question while the other two men with him laughed.
Because Al-Shqeirat believed the men wanted trouble, he said, he told them, "What we are doing here is not your business." Al-Shqeirat said he told the man who questioned him that he could call for an appointment if he wanted a tour, but then the man began cursing at him and making profane hand gestures. The men continued cursing before leaving and making negative comments about Muslim children passing by, Al-Shqeirat said. [Link]
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