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Reprehensible behavior

We find it offensive and reprehensible to the highest degree that cowards would choose to vandalize a place or worship — holy ground — that is so important to a community and many, many people.

The person or persons who spray painted the letters “I” and “C” in a circle with shapes on either side, along with a four-letter expletive starting with the letter “F,” followed by “God & Allah” on a Muslim mosque on North South Street are nothing short of cowards.

Those who performed these acts have no place in our progressive, open community that embraces all people — no matter their color, sexual orientation, origin, religion or creed.

Our community is better than what was spray painted on an exterior wall of that mosque. There is no room for religious hatred or discrimination in the Heart of Virginia, nor the cowards who stooped so low to deface a holy place.

Our community is better than this because we, in our hearts, know that our positive actions speak volumes louder than words, such as the unspoken ones smeared across that wall.

What those who applied the spray paint to the building cannot do — no matter what color paint they have or how much — is quell our love for each other, our compassion for our neighbors nor the helping hand those who live in Farmville, Prince Edward, Buckingham and Cumberland offer when a complete stranger needs help.

This community is strong, and it’s a force to be reckoned with, evidenced in the words of Patsy Watson, an organizer of the Interfaith Collective.

Following the reported incident, Watson issued a statement, calling for action in response to the vandalism.

Watson said the collective is raising funds for a security system to be installed at the center.

“Lift our brothers and sisters up in prayer as they deal with the confusion and sorrow that is experienced when vandalism such as this is directed at them,” Watson said in a statement.

While we ask for you to pray for the hearts of the people affected, we also ask you pray for the healing of those who decided to place themselves in such a place of intolerance and cruelty.