Suspect charged in West Oak Lane mosque vandalism

mosque vandalism
Johnathan Boone
Philadelphia Police

A 47-year-old Germantown man is facing several charges after a prominent West Oak Lane mosque was vandalized over the weekend.

Johnathan Boone allegedly painted several words and symbols – including “Jesus Christ,” crosses and Stars of David – late Friday night on the outside of Masjidullah – The Center for Human Excellence, located at Limekiln Pike and Washington Lane.

Boone was arrested late Monday, and he has been charged with criminal mischief, institutional vandalism, possession of an instrument of crime and criminal trespass, according to court documents. He is being held on $50,000 bail, of which he must pay 10% to be released.

The incident drew condemnation from public officials, as well as leaders from other faith communities.

“The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming,” said Idris Abdul-Zahir, the Masjidullah’s resident imam, in a statement distributed by the Council on Islamic-American Relation’s Philadelphia chapter.

“Masjidullah stood in the face of Anti-Muslim hate but by no means did we ever stand alone. Thank you to PPD – 14th District for the swift arrest,” Abdul-Zahir continued. “Special thanks to our Christian and Jewish friends for their unwavering support.”

CAIR Philly is encouraging people of all faiths to attend a “United Against Hate” news conference being hosted by City Commissioner Omar Sabir at 11 a.m. Friday at Masjidullah.