SACRAMENTO – The imam of a Sacramento mosque, which suffered a recent hate attack, has invited attackers to come and visit Muslims, opening doors and hearts to any questions they might have about Islam.
“We’d love to see these people who have any questions please come in, I would be happy to accommodate them,” Hamza El Nakhal of the Davis Islamic Center told Sacramento Bee.
In a recent hate attack targeting mosques, numerous pages ripped from a Qur’an were thrown from a moving vehicle during Ramadan Taraweeh prayers at the Islamic Center of Davis.
“We took it as a hate incident,” said Davis police Lt. Thomas Waltz. “No suspects have yet been identified.”
Days later, a burnt Qur’an laced with bacon was handcuffed to a chain link fence outside Sacramento’s largest mosque.
Despite the attack, more than 7,000 Muslims from 50 nations came out in their Sunday best to celebrate `Eid, marking the end of 30 days of fasting for Ramadan.
The desecrated Quran and other mosque attacks reflect “ignorance,” said Sajid Hussain, president of Masjid Annur Islamic Center.
“They don’t know about Islam,” he said of the perpetrators. “If they have any questions, we are open. They are invited here any time.
“We are not going to be angry or lose our temper.”
Imam Yousef Hussin said the Bible and the Qur’an share a lot of common beliefs, including the worship of a single god, the power of prayer and charity.
“It’s a big insult and distracting that somebody would sink to that level, but nobody’s afraid, we’re taking it in stride,” Hussin said.
He shared a lesson from the Qur’an about how many of the prophet’s companions were brutally tortured and murdered for their beliefs, “and decades later the people who did this embraced Islam. There is a verse in Quran that says, `resist evil with goodness and perhaps the person who is your greatest enemy will be one of your closest allies.’ ”
Mosque attorney Tawfiq Morrar noted that while “a lot of people try to correlate the terror they see overseas with Muslims, more than 90 percent of the victims of these terrorists are Muslims themselves.”
`Eid is a time of happiness and forgiveness, Morrar said, “but the uptick in hate crimes in this political climate cannot be ignored – we have to stay vigilant. We’re not going to hide who we are.”