Davis was caught on camera spray painting swastikas and hateful messages on the windows of Masjid Al Salam: He could have faced six years in jail if he failed to pay the fine
While sitting in jail awaiting trial, Davis came to understand the error of his ways and reached out to the mosque to apologize with a letter, the New York Times reported:
“Dear Masjid Al Salam Mosque,” Abraham wrote. “I know you guys probably don’t want to hear from me at all but I really want to get this to y’all. I’m so sorry about having a hand in vandalising your mosque. It was wrong and y’all did not deserve to have that done to you. I hurt y’all and I am haunted by it. And even after all this you still forgave me. You are much better people than I.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen to me, and that is honestly really scary. But I just wouldn’t want to keep going on without trying to make amends. I wish I could undo the pain I helped to cause. I used to walk by your mosque a lot and ask myself why I would do that. I don’t even hate Muslims. Or anyone for that matter.
“All in all,” he concluded, “I just want to say I’m sorry.”
As a result, members of the mosque met with prosecutors and urged leniency. “We did not want this to destroy his life,” Louay Nassri, the president of Masjid Al Salam, told the New York Times.
The Masjid Al Salam mosque in Fort Smith, Alabama, filled out a check for $1,700 to cover what was left of the fines picked up by Abraham Davis after he painted the symbol of hate and the message “go home” on the front of their building in October 2016.
“We heard that he was having financial problems,” Louay Nassri, the president of Al Salam, told NBC. “Now if you don’t pay your fine, that’s an automatic six years in jail. Well, we didn’t want him to go to jail for six years.”
The funds were originally allocated for renovations to the mosque, but Mr Nassri said that he believes paying the fines was a better choice.
Davis was convicted of the 2016 crime after a security camera for the mosque caught him in the act. Mr Nassri said that forgiving Davis for the crime just felt natural after they received an apology for the action.
“We thought this was the right thing to do,” Mr Nassri said. “We thought if someone does something bad and came and apologized, you just forgive them. That should be the natural thing. We had no idea that this forgiveness would be an international story.”
News Ref : Ijr and Independent.uk
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