MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton is asking anyone with information about the vandalism of a north metro mosque to come forward.

On Tuesday, Dayton called the spray-painting at the Al-Salam Mosque in Maplewood “despicable.”

“Minnesotans of every faith have the right, guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, to worship freely in safe and peaceful places,” he said, in a statement. “This despicable act of vandalism has no place in our state or country.”

The Maplewood Police Department says the vandalism happened in the early morning hours of July 29 at the mosque located on the 1400 block of Skillman Avenue.

The suspects spray-painted a cross, “666” and the words “Jesus saves” on the mosque’s outside wall. Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspects.

Scott Nadeau, the director of public safety in Maplewood, called the crime “unacceptable,” adding that it has “no place in Maplewood.”

Over the weekend, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for the vandalism to be investigated as a hate crime.

Maplewood police are asking anyone with information on the crime to call 911 or 651-767-0640.

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