MOORHEAD, Minn. — Hundreds gathered at the Moorhead-Fargo Islamic Community Center and mosque here April 26 carrying paintbrushes and cleaning chemicals. They had come to remove vulgar, anti-Muslim graffiti spray-painted there the day before, including “Death to Islam,” “Women can’t vote,” “F— you,” and a Nazi swastika.
“We had some members who were scared to return to the mosque,” Otoo Haaron, president of the Islamic Center, told the Militant. “But the response of support was overwhelming, so many people came to help.”
On May 1 some 60 people attended a forum in the mosque parking lot called “Moorhead United Against Hate.” They heard leaders of the Islamic Center, representatives of Jewish and Christian congregations, and area politicians. I read a solidarity statement from SWP Minneapolis mayoral candidate Doug Nelson.
“The Socialist Workers Party condemns this reactionary anti-Muslim vandalism, along with other attacks on mosques and synagogues,” Nelson wrote. “We call on workers, farmers, unions and all defenders of democratic rights to speak out against this attack.
“The labor movement was founded on the idea that an injury to one is an injury to all,” Nelson continued. “Working-class unity and our ability to organize to fight against all manifestations of exploitation and oppression can only be built if we act in defense of all who suffer discrimination, scapegoating and victimization. We are ready to help, now and in the future.”
Benjamin Enderle, 22, was charged by police with the attack after being identified by a Walmart worker on a store video. At the May 1 gathering, leaders of the mosque offered forgiveness to Enderle and invited him to come to learn about the Islamic community.
David Rosenfeld is SWP candidate for Minneapolis City Council.