MOORHEAD — The Islamic community in the Fargo-Moorhead area is feeling a sense of relief after an arrest.
"Hate has no place in the Moorhead area," said Hukun Dabar, executive director of the Afro-American Development Association.
The Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center was vandalized Saturday night, April 24, with hate speech spray-painted all over the mosque.
Dabar said the community outreach over the past few days helped his community cope.
"You know, we didn't know that there was this love and support from our community, and we really appreciate it," he said.
Less than three days after the hateful vandalism, Moorhead police arrested 22-year-old Benjamin Enderle in connection to the case.
"The minority is the guy who did this. We are not the minority," said Cani Adan, program coordinator of the Afro-American Development Association.
Arrests after an incident like this are uncommon, said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.
"This is the only one I know in the last year and a half where a vandalism or an attack against the mosque actually led to someone being apprehended," Hussein said.
Now, Islamic community leaders said they are turning to forgiveness.
"We don't hate him," Adan said. "We welcome all the people and we are praying for him."
They're also turning back to Ramadan, a holiday for reflection and community.
"You know, I've seen the love and support from my friends and neighbors and individuals from the Moorhead community," Dabar said. "I love Moorhead. It is a place I call home."
The mosque is a home for all religious groups.
"An attack on one faith community is an attack on all faith communities," Hussein said.
The mosque is planning a community celebration on Saturday, May 1, at 3 p.m.