Murfreesboro (Tennessee) mosque vandalism: Residents rally around Muslim community


Community members numbered in the hundreds to gather in support of their Muslim neighbors during a vigil the day after the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was vandalized.

Numerous members of the crowd held homemade signs with the slogan, “Love thy neighbor,” while other signs had messages such as “Everyone be cool to each other” and “I Stand with my Muslim neighbor.” One family handed out long-stem roses.

“It’s my duty, it’s our duty, to decry senseless acts like these. Silence is not an option,” Abbie Wolf, director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Nashville, told the crowd. “There is no place for such despicable and repugnant behavior or beliefs in our community.”

Early Monday morning, ICM members discovered vandals had spray-painted profanity on the mosque and its outdoor basketball court, as well as draped its door handles with bacon. The abuse sent shock waves through Murfreesboro’s Muslim community.



Muslims hold interfaith event to ‘re-tag’ Burlington mosque

2767280_GBURLINGTON — It happened again.

For the fourth time in five years, Munir Gandevia and the Islamic Center of Burlington were left reeling after another incident of vandalism, each one of them larger in scale than the last. Early Sunday morning members found an entire wall of the mosque covered with eggs and red spray-paint that read “USA.”

Gandevia and his congregation were disappointed.

“What happened was unexpected and unbelievable,” Gandevia, the mosque’s president, said Wednesday. “We are proud Americans, and this is our land.”

On Wednesday, about 50 town religious leaders, politicians, and community members gathered for a united interfaith event at the mosque, called “We are Americans.”

The purpose of the event was to “retag” the mosque’s eggshell-colored walls with positive messages that showed the Muslim community’s true inclusive nature, leaders said. Supporters signed posters of good will, and mosque leaders displayed 12 encouraging e-mails from area well-wishers.

But the event also served a different purpose, to reassert Burlington’s Muslim population as equal partners in their local community, state, and nation. The American Civil Liberties Union has tracked at least 75 anti-mosque incidents nationwide since 2006.