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Muslim group says spray-painting of Oklahoma mosque may be Boston backlash

Police said Saturday they were investigating what a Muslim advocacy group described as an act of vandalism against an Oklahoma City mosque that may have been part of a backlash after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Words were spray-painted on the mosque before dawn Saturday, said Lt. Arthur Gregory, a spokesman for Oklahoma City police. He said he did not know the nature of the words.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement that the words were obscenities. It wants the matter investigated as a hate crime and wants state and federal law enforcement to determine whether the vandalism was a reaction to the bombings.

The surviving suspect in the marathon attack, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has told investigators that he and his brother set off the bombs to defend Islam after the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The council said that the same mosque was targeted by paintballs last year, and said there have been other acts of violence against American Muslims since the marathon bombings.

In Malden, Mass., two days after the blasts, a Muslim woman wearing traditional Islamic hijab told police and The Boston Globe that she was punched on the street by a man who cursed at her and shouted, “You are terrorists.”