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Islamic Center in Colorado vandalized

Islamic Center in Colorado vandalized

The Islamic Center in Fort Collins, Colorado was vandalized on Saturday night. The windows were smashed by rocks, and a Bible was thrown into the prayer room inside. Furniture outside was smashed, and the legs of some of the chairs were jammed in the door handles. Security footage shows a single man, looking to be in his 20s, attacking the building. “Anything he could get a hold of, he wanted to damage,” said Tawfik AboEllail, President of the Center, “Thank god he didn’t burn the building down.” Members of the congregation arriving for prayer at 5:30 this morning found the damage, with broken glass strewn across the carpet inside.

A rally was coordinated by a rabbi in response to the attack, and congregants of local churches stopped in to visit their neighbors during the day on Sunday. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help defray the costs of the vandalism. As of Sunday evening, it had already raised over $11,000 of its $15,000 goal.


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Laurie Gudim

This incident occurred in my community. We heard about it later in the day on Sunday, word having been passed along informally all day long through a sort of grapevine of emails. Many people had already been over to our mosque to offer condolences and support to our Islamic community. We learned there would be a rally at 5 pm.

Considering the event was impromptu, it gathered quite a crowd. News reporters came and left early, so there weren’t many photos, but I’ve heard estimates of 1,000 people. After leaders from two of our synagogues, several Christian churches, and our local and state government spoke, we wanted to form a human chain around the building. I’m terrible at estimating size, but the Center is pretty big. You can see it here:

We started out forming a circle around the structure itself, but there were too many of us, so we formed a circle around the whole property instead. It was at least three people deep all the way around.

We sang “We Shall Overcome” in thin, quavering voices — many younger people don’t know this song. And I couldn’t sing because I was too choked up. For, as quick as we were to gather, we were still too slow. The damage was done.

But on the other hand, we’re sending our money to the Center’s Go Fund Me site, and our legislators know that 1,000 people can be gathered, spur of the moment, on a drizzly Sunday afternoon to support our Muslim community. The police saw us — some joined with us. We are clearly stating our will. So that’s good . . . isn’t it? That might save lives and protect our neighbors’ freedoms . . . won’t it? I surely hope so.


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This is a horrible reminder of burning and vandalism years ago against predominantly black churches. Terrorism plain and simple; unfortunately, only brown terrorists are called such. Others are just identified as “troubled” or “angry and misunderstood”.

Paul Woodrum

The President should add the United States to his list of radical, terrorist countries. We seem to have far more home grown incidents than those from other countries.

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