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Moorhead, MN (KROC AM News) - The man who is accused of vandalizing a Minnesota mosque with hate graffiti has been forgiven - by the local Muslim community.

The vandalism was discovered last Sunday at Moorhead-Fargo Islamic Community Center in Moorhead.

Police later arrested 22-year-old Benjamin Enderle, who admitted to the vandalism. He told police he did it as a joke.

Clay County ADC
Clay County ADC


The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says it has joined the Moorhead Muslim community in forgiving Enderle.

They have also sent an invitation to Enderle and his family “to visit the mosque after the month-long fast of Ramadan concludes later this month. “

Moorhead-Fargo Islamic Community Center Adviser Sajidd Ghauri said:

“It is the month of Ramadan, and forgiveness is the message we learn from the day we step into this world. With that in mind, we at MFICC would like to let the gentlemen who allegedly put graffiti and hate messages on our mosque know that we forgive him from the deepest part of our hearts. Instead of coming in the dark, please come in light and talk with us. I guarantee you we will find lots of common ground and we will become good friends. Love is much more powerful than hate."

“Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said; "The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy on you.” al-Tirmidhi

CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein added:

"The forgiveness offered by the Moorhead-Fargo Islamic Community Center to the young man who allegedly committed this heinous crime is a blessing during the month of Ramadan, during which we as a community are seeking forgiveness from our Creator. While the hate crime sent a chilling message to our community, we welcome the opportunity to heal and move forward. We applaud the leadership of the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Community Center and the rest of the community, and we thank the wider community that came forward to support the mosque immediately after the attack."

A fund has been set up to help take care of the vandalism.

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