Vandal’s Fines Paid by Arkansas Mosque
The mosque congregation wanted Davis to progress in life
The Masjid Al Salam mosque in Fort Smith, Arkansas has paid off the court fines of Abraham Davis[/tweetit], a convicted vandal. Davis and two of his associates drove in a minivan to Al Salam mosque in October 2016. He kept watch while his accomplices drew curses and swastikas on the building. They sprayed “Go Home” on the walls of the structure. The minivan was owned by Davis' mother.
Vandals Fines Paid by Arkansas Mosque[/tweetthis]
The fine was paid by a cashier's check on December 11. The financial instrument named Sebastian County Courthouse as the beneficiary. Hisham Yasin, social director of the Al-Salam mosque paid the fine. According to Yasin, the mosque congregation paid the money as they do not want him to spend any more time confined in a jail cell. According to Yasin, the congregation has forgiven Davis a long time ago. Paying the amount was simply a method to put the forgiveness into actual action. The mosque's social director wants the convicted vandal to move forward in life. He urged Davis not to look back but study hard and work to become a productive citizen in the future.
Davis himself has expressed a deep regret for what he did. He wrote an apology letter to the mosque from the confines of his jail cell. He was convicted of felony charges. About $3,200 in fines were slapped on him. The mosque leaders by then had taken the decision not to press any kind of charges against the perpetrators. A prominent media house by that time had a profile story written on the incident. The mosque began to receive pledges of support and letters from the local interfaith community. One organization, Jay Pritzker Foundation, donated $25,000. The Al Salam congregation was surprised by the amount. The desire to assist Davis to lead a better life only grew.
How did an Arkansas Muslim community respond after 20-year old Abraham Davis vandalized their mosque? They forgave him.
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) December 29, 2017
During this time, Davis was worried sick about paying the fines that were imposed on him. He was aware that if he failed to meet the monthly payments, his jail time will only increase. Although a New York Times reader had paid a part of the fine, a sizable amount continued to remain- and that must be paid. The Al Salam mosque came to the rescue and paid $1,731 to get him off the hook. Davis was dumbstruck when he received the news that all his debts were paid. Yasin was happy too, as he could show what real Islam was like.