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Mosque pays fine of vandal who defaced its walls

Accused faced jail if he defaulted on payment

Image Credit: Screen grab
The walls on the Masjid Al Salam in Arkansas, Little Rock, the US, had words of hate sprayed on: Go Home

Arkansas: The walls on the Masjid Al Salam in Arkansas, Little Rock, the US, had words of hate sprayed on: Go Home. There was a swastika too.

This was in October 2016.

Mosque security cameras filmed the man responsible for vandalising the mosque. Abraham Davis' charge consisted of community service and a fine.

But Davis is not from an affluent family and could not afford to pay the fine. And if he couldn’t pay the fine, the law would send him to jail for six years.

"We knew this person did a bad thing and there has to be consequences for their actions," President of Al Salam, Louay Nassri said. "But we didn't have any ill feelings towards anybody. It shouldn't be hanging over him for the rest of his life.

“We heard that he was having financial problems," Nassri said. "Now if you don't pay your fine, that's an automatic six years in jail. Well, we didn't want him to go to jail for six years."

The Arkansas Matters website reported that Nassri wrote a cheque for one-thousand seven hundred dollars to wipe off  Davis' fines. The money was meant for renovations to the mosque. 

"After all that he had been through, we didn't want him suffering financial stress," Nassri said. "And like I told him, we want him to have a much better future."

"We thought this was the right thing to do," Nassri said. Davis had earlier apologised for vandalizing the mosque. He could not live with the guilt.

"We thought if someone does something bad and came and apologised, you just forgive them. That should be the natural thing," Nassri says.

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