Hoping to educate people about Islam, members of the Islamic Society of Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota, opened doors on Saturday, November 5, to welcome hundreds of neighbors after the recent incident of vandalism at the local Muslim cemetery.
“We’re just here to clear up any misconceptions that there are about our faith and our community members who are associated with the religion of Islam,” said Mary Habib, a volunteer at the event, In Forum reported.
Two weeks ago, someone broke at the abandoned building the Islamic society of Fargo and Moorhead used to store concrete vaults for Muslim burials.
A gravedigger working at the cemetery discovered the vandalism of five vaults, each cost $100, on Saturday, October 22.
Hundreds of people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, flocked to the mosque enjoying food and fellowship.
The mosque members gave free educational pamphlets to everybody about common misconceptions people might have about Muslims.
“We’re all very diverse within our community,” Jessica Nix pointed out.
“You know, we have Muslims from a lot of different countries. And even though we’re one religion, we’re diverse.”
Still reeling after the ugly incident, Muslims hope to use it as a chance to educate others and clear misconceptions.
“I just want to say that we all you know, we’re all your neighbors, and we’re all just one big community looking to live peacefully amongst each other,” said Mary Habib.
A report published by CAIR titled “Targeted: 2018 Civil Rights Report” recorded 144 anti-mosque incidents in 2017, of which 57 were labeled hate crimes.
Yet, many local communities have offered support to the Muslim community in many cases.
In 2021, members of the local community in Suffolk county in Brentwood, New York, came together in a show of support to the local mosque which was vandalized last month.
In September 2019, the vandalism of the new welcome sign at the Islamic Centre of Grand Junction, Colorado, prompted community to show support and start crowdfunding to repair the damaged sign.
Earlier in January 2017, more than 12,836 people raised more than $500K to rebuild a mosque in Victoria, Texas after a fire tore through the complex.
Another mosque in Orlando destroyed in 2016 received more than $100K in donations to rebuild the mosque.