PFLUGERVILLE—Communities from all across Central Texas, of all races, and ages came together at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville to protest, what's being called, a hate crime.
A member of the mosque found a torn Quran covered in feces at their front door, leaving Muslims here worried about their place in the community.
"There are way more Muslims being slaughtered by these extremist groups, and we're appalled at that. We're appalled at that. And when someone from another faith is attacked, we're appalled at that too. It hurts for me to have to step out there and say, 'Hey, listen. I have a human heart, too. I'm sad for them, too,’ because that should be a given,” said Abeer Syed of Round Rock.
"We're all one human. We have to be there for each other in times of need, and not let people who are extremists and want to divide us, win," added Syed.
Right now, in that time of need, this outpouring of support and empathy shows them that they are not outcasts.
With more than 200 people showing up, the residents we spoke with say the bond of the community is stronger than fear."
"My wife, she wears a headscarf, and since whatever happened in Paris, and especially what happened in this mosque, she was very scared to go out. So I think you guys have proven it, and I'll take a photograph of all of you and share it with her. There's good that overwhelms bad, all the time," said one resident.
"It’s not healthy to live in fear. And, when we see a crowd like this, it removes that fear. It makes us feel much better," said Mohamedumer Esmail of the Islamic Center of Pflugerville.
Attendees came away from the rally recognizing that, even though their religions may differ from one another, there's a thread of continuity connecting them all.
"Every faith teaches you to love your neighbor," added Syed.
"There’s a lot more similarities in what everyone believes in than there are differences. And I just wish everyone could see that," one resident added.
A lesson Muslims, and their supporters, hope everyone will hear and spread.