NEW YORK (AA): Joseph Schreiber, who set fire to a mosque in Florida, was sentenced late Tuesday to 30 years’ imprisonment.
The 32-year-old, who has a past criminal record, pleaded no contest Monday, effectively acquiescing to the sentence for torching the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce.
The mosque announced it would move as it was left beyond repair on the eve of Eid, one of two religious holidays on the Islamic calendar.
Prior to the attack that came on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Schreiber, who is Jewish, wrote online that “all Islam is radical”.
The Fort Pierce Islamic Center came to national attention after Omar Mateen, who frequented the mosque, allegedly killed 49 victims and wounded dozens at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June.
Mateen pledged allegiance to the Daesh terror group on an emergency 911 call before being shot dead by police inside the club.
Before his sentencing in Tuesday’s hearing, Schreiber read out a statement that said he carried out the attack out of fear that Florida might suffer another act of terror, downplaying his own attack being a hate crime.
“My message is this to all the Muslim communities on the face of the Earth — make peace with America and make peace with Israel and stop the killings, stop the attacks,” he said.
Muhabir Canberk Yüksel
[Photo: Islamic Center of Fort Pierce set on fire. Photograph Facebook of the Center]