Community rallies around Texas mosque defaced after Paris attacks

(KXAN Photo)
(KXAN Photo)

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — The Pflugerville, Texas community came together on Saturday to spread a message: everyone is welcome in their city.

A rally was held in response to a local mosque being vandalized earlier this week. When members of the Islamic Center of Pflugerville (ICP) went to open the doors for morning prayer on Monday, they found feces splattered in front of the mosque with torn pages from the Quran.

Over 200 people of various races and regions came to support the effort.

“People of all faiths or no faith are welcome in Pflugerville and we’re here to share that message,” said one of the speakers. “We are one community, that we stand united.”

And people of all ages were also helping to spread the message.

“My sign says stop hating,” said 10-year-old Emily. “His sign says keep your poop and hate to yourself!”

One of the board members of the mosque, Faisal Naeem, said he felt isolated after the incident happened. But he says everything has a silver lining and this event was proof of that.

Round Rock mother Bahia Mawi was excited to see so much support at the rally.

“We are not the Muslim’s portrayed on television,” said Mawi. “We are not terrorists, we are as normal as you are. We have children, they go to school, we want to live daily lives as well.”

Mawi’s daughter reflected on how the incident made her feel last week, “I kind of felt angry a little bit. I don’t get why people would go and target just one group because of some things that some people from that group did. There are bad people from all different kinds of groups.””

Organizer Karen Dominguez Burke was also surprised by the massive turnout. She felt compelled to bring the community together after the incident.

“You just never expect it to happen right down the street from you,” said Dominguez Burke. “I couldn’t let it go, I was so angry. I thought, they want to have such a public reaction, so we have to have a public response to say those kinds of things aren’t ok.”

Still, no one has been held responsible for vandalizing the mosque. If you have any information, please contact the police

Leaders of the mosque say they’ve already forgiven them.

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