Thank you, Jack!
A string of Islamophobic incidents have been reported since the massacre in Paris last fortnight, but at least one little boy in Texas knows the attackers don’t represent the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.
By Lydia O’Connor
When 7-year-old Jack Swanson of Pflugerville, Texas, found out that a local mosque had been splattered with feces and desecrated with torn pages of the Quran, he emptied the $20 from his piggy bank and donated it to the congregation, according to NBC affiliate KXAN.
“We were talking in the car how someone smeared poop on their church and that was a really, really awful thing to do and we had a good conversation what churches are for and how everybody’s churches are important,” Jack’s mother, Laura Swanson, told KXAN. “I think it’s really good to get kids involved and to let them know what the important stuff really is.” Faisal Naeem, a board member at the defaced Islamic Center of Pflugerville, said he has a son around Jack’s age and was moved by the gesture. “It’s 20 bucks, but coming from Jack collecting his pennies it’s worth 20 million bucks to me and to our community,” Naeem told KXAN. “This gives me hope because this means it’s not one versus the other.”
Pflugerville, which is near Austin, is not the only city where Muslim institutions have been targeted since the Paris attacks. A mosque in Ontario, Canada, was deliberately set on fire, and several mosques received threatening calls in Florida.
Texas is one of many states whose governors declared their desire to reject the resettling of Syrian refugees within their borders. Gov. Greg Abbott sent President Barack Obama a letter arguing that such “American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger.”