Sign noting Muslim volunteerism defaced

Statesman: by Peggie Evans —

Members of a Round Rock mosque wondered if it was the workplace beheading in Oklahoma by a Muslim or terrorist activities of the Islamic State that caused someone to deface a local road sign bearing their group’s name.

Members of the mosque who belong to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemn the terrorist activities of ISIS and the workplace beheading of the woman in Moore, Okla., Sept. 25 by a Muslim, said Yasir Mirza, an official with the Muslim group. “We’re all appalled by that,” he said of the violent atrocities.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has adopted a stretch of roadway on North A.W. Grimes as part of the Texas Department of Transportation Adopt-a-Highway program. Members of the community in September found its program sign vandalized.

“We know there’s a lot of misinformation about Islam,” said Mirza, who lives in Round Rock and is member of Bait-ul-Muqeet Mosque on Deepwood Drive. “We don’t like to be judged by what others do overseas, like ISIS.”

“It was not a good feeling,” said Saad Tariq, a member of the Muslim community who discovered the vandalized sign while he was driving with his wife, Marrium, and 5-year-old daughter on the way to the child’s school for an afternoon program. He and his wife were disturbed and saddened, but his child did not understand what had happened, he said.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has volunteered to clean up that stretch of the highway, between Old Settlers Boulevard and University Boulevard, on North A.W. Grimes for TxDOT for about seven years, Mirza said, and the sign with the group’s name has never before been vandalized, he said.

Tariq and Mirza, both from Pakistan, said Muslims in Round Rock generally feel welcomed as part of the community.

“We don’t feel whoever did that is representative of the people of Round Rock,” Mirza said.

“That does not represent the Christian community here at all,” said Pastor Mark Westerfield of Central Round Rock Baptist Church. “It grieves my heart it happened here.”

“In any community you’re going to get people who don’t represent the community,” added Westerfield, who helps organize meetings attended by an informal alliance of about 40 churches in Round Rock.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office had no leads or suspects for the vandalism, department Capt. Fred Thomas said in October, and was not investigating it further.

The black paint was later removed from the sign.

Origional Post here:


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