Texas Mosque Vandalized Amid Rise in Islamophobia
Vandals have defaced a mosque to the north of Austin, Texas, at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville. Worshippers arriving to pray on Monday morning discovered pages torn from the Muslim holy text, the Quran, and feces littered in front of the building, NBC affiliate station KXAN reported.
"It's disgusting; it's gross. It doesn't matter what you believe, what I believe, what he believes or anybody believes, all faith is important," Pflugerville resident Laura Swanson told KXAN.
Islamophobia in the U.S. — and the world at large — has been a critical topic of discussion since the brutal terror attacks in Paris on Friday, which were organized by the Islamic State group, or ISIS. At least 129 victims were killed in the series of coordinated attacks at multiple locations across France's capital city.
Since then, Muslims and non-Muslims are working to emphasize the fact that terrorism and the Muslim religion are not one and the same. "Above all, we must not make amalgams," Matuidi Charo Benz, a Parisian resident who watched people flee from one of the attacks, previously told Mic. "Like everyone else, there are the good and there are the bad, in all religions and communities. And the French people are smart enough to know the difference."
The conversation became even more polarized on Thursday, when Republican candidate and presidential hopeful Donald Trump took a hard stance on Muslims in America. If elected president, Trump said he'd consider stricter security measures which may or not include requiring Muslims in America carry a special ID card and, if elected, the business tycoon may also establish a database to keep track of Muslims in the U.S.
According to KXAN, police are investigating the vandalism at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville as a hate crime.
Watch KXAN's report below: