Religious leaders gather in show of solidarity after Rochester Hills mosque vandalized

‘It was not only an attack on the mosque, it was an attack on all places of worship’

Police said they believe the vandalism was a random act, not a hate crime and that Ahern is a person of interest in other acts of vandalism in the area.

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – An arrest was made Friday in the vandalism of a Rochester Hills mosque.

Ryan Lee Ahern is accused of breaking the glass in a door at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center.

Officials believe it was a random act and not a hate crime.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said they quickly identified Ahern using surveillance footage from the community center. He was taken into custody without incident.

“It was not only an attack on the mosque, it was an attack on all places of worship,” said Imam Shamshad A. Nasir.

Aherm was arraigned Saturday for allegedly using a hammer to smash the windows. As of Sunday afternoon, the mosque does not want to press charges.

“We heard that the man is arrested, but we told law enforcement that there is nothing from us,” Nasir said. “We don’t want any penalty.”

Multiple religious communities came together Sunday to pray for Ahern and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center in an interfaith prayer ceremony.

The mosque’s offer to forgive the person responsible in exchanged for a conversation still stands.

“Let us come sit together and build a bridge for friendship,” Nasir said.

Ahern was able to post $1,000 bail and is no longer in custody. No new court date has been set.

Read more: Metro Detroit crime news

Ryan Lee Ahern (WDIV)

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.