Hundreds rally to support Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after vandalism

(Photo: WKRN)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Hundreds of people rallied to support Muslims across Middle Tennessee after a mosque was vandalized.

The vandals spray-painted curse words and intolerant phrases on the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and left bacon on the front entrance, both in the doorway and around the door’s handles. There’s a prohibition on eating pork in Islam.

People of all faiths showed up Tuesday night to support the religious community.

(Photo: WKRN)

Saleh Sbenaty, a member of the board of trustees of the Islamic Center, said the rally is about showing the community as a whole is above this kind of hatred.

“We want to show that Murfreesboro is a beautiful city. It’s way above hatred and racism,” said Sbenaty. “We want to show that the people of Tennessee, in general, and the United States is way above this wave of hatred and discrimination.”

(Photo: WKRN)

Abbie Wolf, director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, said she wanted to express solidarity with the Muslim community.

“An act of hate against one community is an act of hate against all our communities,” Wolf said. “We also were so grateful, profoundly grateful for the show of support that the Muslim community gave to us during the multiple bomb threats against the Gordon Jewish Community Center.”

Mosque members and volunteers on Monday night began the process of cleaning up the mess left behind by the vandals.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the hate crime.