PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - Despite being a windy and chilly evening, there was quite the turnout at a community gathering at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville on Saturday.
Police said the mosque was the target of a hate crime and community members in Pflugerville said they want everyone to know they won't tolerate this and they respect all faiths.
Faisal Naeem is a board member for the mosque and was to see so many people come to the event.
“I am so happy to see everyone here who showed up to let the Muslim community of Pflugerville know that we want peace. We want to be friends and we want to share our love with all of our neighbors,” he said.
Monday morning, a member of the Islamic Center of Pflugerville found feces and torn-up pages of the Quran by the door. “I think they are disgusting. The idea that they would put their hands in poop to smear on a place of worship is just; I don't even know how they would come up with that idea. It's really disgusting, and I hope they're ashamed of themselves,” said Karen Dominguez Burke, who organized the event.
Naeem said along with forgiving those that committed what police call a hate crime, he gives his gratitude. “We want to thank you. You've made our neighbors reach out to us, and we are reaching out to our neighbors,” he said.
“We won’t stand for people defacing you know places of worship in our neighborhood or you know being Islamophobs, that kind of stuff isn't okay,” Burke said.
Out of hate, the community came together as one to show their support. “I think that's the message that we should all share with each other that we need to love our neighbors,” said a community member.
“A good neighbor is one that guarantees comfort security and safety. I can say that the Muslims of Pflugerville and the greater Austin area truly have great neighbors,” said one Pflugerville Muslim.