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      Islamic center members say they're victims of a hate crime

      The culprit used slices of bacon to spell out the words "PIG CHOPS" on the brick walkway of the mosque.

      Someone defaced the Florence Islamic Center on North Edisto Drive in Florence Sunday afternoon.

      The culprit used slices of bacon to spell out the words "PIG CHOPS" on the brick walkway of the mosque. The parishoners are Muslim and don't eat pork.

      Florence Police are investigating.

      Members of the center tell NewsChannel 15 this is the second time in a few months that someone has vandalized their house of worship. Earlier this year, vandals broke new windows in the facility.

      The Florence Islamic Center has been on North Edisto Drive for nearly three years. Parishoners say it's a work in progress, as they are renovating the facility bit by bit.

      About 30 families worship at the mosque. They believe the person who defaced their property doesn't understand what the Muslim religion is all about.

      The facility is also used during the week as a school to study their religion.

      Members say police have indicated they will step up patrols around the center. We're waiting to hear from Florence Police Chief Anson Shells to get more details.

      Coming up tonight at 6:00 on NewsChannel 15, you'll hear from the parishoners about why this incident is so disturbing to them.

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