RELIGION

Mubarak Mosque damage; community rallies behind mosque

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After vandals threw rocks, broke windows and caused more than $200,000 in damages to a local mosque in Fairfax County, residents and others have rallied to support the mosque and its worshippers.

Rev. Jerry Foltz stopped by to see how members of the new Mubarak Mosque were faring in the wake of the vandals' attack that left virtually every single window cracked or smashed to bits.

“Why would somebody do this?” he asked. “It's so offensive for any religious community to experience such vandalism.”

Many have called, written and emailed the Ahmadiyya Muslim community here with words of sympathy and outrage. And even an occasional donation.

Fairfax County police say there's no evidence at this point that the January 29th vandalism was a hate crime, but security has been beefed up and they are pursuing some leads.

They were initially scheduled, before the vandalism, to finish construction at the mosque last week. But now, they have to wait for the insurance claim to come back and they have to order all new windows. So they've had to push that date back by two or three months.

“When people cross the religious lines, the race barriers, cultural barriers, they come across and show this type of heartfelt support, it brings tears to your eyes,” says Usman Ghumman of the Mubarak Mosque.

If the vandals wanted to scare or intimidate members of the mosque, their plan backfired. Instead, it brought different people together, to learn about each other, desire to do things together--invited pastors to meet and speak.

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