“What happened in Paris is not happening in Pflugerville.”
Early Monday morning, a member of the Pflugerville Islamic Center in Texas found a ripped-up Quran covered in urine outside its front door. Given the rise in anti-Muslim xenophobia after the recent Paris attacks, the incident has mosque members on edge. “The fear,” mosque board member Faisal Naeem told a local reporter, “is that somebody who is armed takes the next step and walks in.” During the interview, a 7-year-old boy named Jack Swanson stepped up and handed Naeem an envelope that contained $20 from his piggy bank as a show of community support.
“This gives me hope because this means that it’s not one versus the other,” Naeem said. “Because in two years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 … I’ll be gone. But my kids and Jack, both Americans born here, are going to grow up together.” Jack’s mother, Laura, cracked open Jack’s piggy bank and counted the coins after she heard about the disaster. “It doesn’t matter what you believe, or I believe, or he believes,” Laura said. “All faith is important, especially peaceful faith … what happened in Paris is not happening in Pflugerville. We should all be supporting each other.”