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Vandals target Fort Myers Mosque

Local leader reacts to New York attacks
Posted at 9:15 PM, Nov 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 08:59:52-04

Imam Qureshi went to the mailbox after his two o' clock prayers on Wednesday like he had done every other day since coming to Fort Myers. This day was different. When he went to the mailbox it was gone. 

"I went to the Broadway side to check my mail, there was no mailbox", he told Fox 4. 

The mailbox was missing and finally we found it in the bushes". 

Qureshi says it's not the first time he's experienced an attack. After the Pulse nightclub shooting he says he endured more personal attacks than the one at the Islamic Center. 

"The white supremacist, he came close to my car and he started cursing at me". 

After this most recent attack, Qureshi says he's had to make changes to his routine. He used to walk from his house down Hunter Street before prayers every day. He also used to walk around his block to clear his mind. The president of the center's board told him not to do this anymore for his own safety. 

He's also had to go to extreme lengths to make sure he's not noticed when he's on the property. The Lee County Sheriff's Office warned him that he's a target.

"The sheriff's department gave instruction not to put any sign up 'so they can recognize you, you are the Imam'."

Qureshi says the attacks in New York don't reflect his beliefs or his faith's teachings. He's not blaming the community for what happened to his Mosque. He hopes that the community will not blame his community for what other's do as well. 

"I've personally been attacked. My center was attacked. I'm not bla ing the Christian people, I'm not blaming the Jewish people, and I'm not blaming the Fort Myers", he told Four in Your Corner.