CHANTILLY, Va. - It has been an emotional and sometimes hate-filled couple of weeks after the presidential election ended. With the talk of banning Muslims from our country, anti-Muslim backlash and Islamophobia has brought heightened tensions.
But at the Mubarak Mosque in Chantilly, the messages that were left behind from some unexpected "vandalism" over the weekend may show a turning tide in the war of words.
The sidewalks leading up to the front door of the mosque were tagged in chalk – with images of hearts and messages of “We love you,” “We are your brothers and sisters,” “LOVE,” and “We are with you."
Over the past year, there have been several mosques in the D.C. region that have been the target of hate crimes. At the Manassas Muslim Association in Virginia, holes were cut into the center's air conditioning unit back in July.
Back in February at the Ivy City mosque in Northeast D.C., vandals trashed the mosque several times in a one-week span by breaking furniture and religious ornaments. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) even stepped forward offering a reward for information that would lead to an arrest.
While it is unknown who is responsible for this most recent incident in Chantilly, the message for the people who attend this mosque is being well-received – one of love and hope.
“It was really heartwarming and seeing that sort of support is very important – that people who are in the area would want to leave this sort of message,” said worshipper Kashif Baloch.