A man vandalized the Masjid Al Salam in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in October of 2016. But more than a year later, Abraham Davis received his ticket to freedom from the people he hurt the most, reports arkansasmatters.com.
Davis’ felony charge consisted of community service and a hefty fine that Davis apparently couldn’t afford. Even though Davis spray-painted swastikas and the words “go home” on the front of the Masjid Al Salam, mosque leader Louay Nassri decided that the fine “shouldn’t be hanging over him for the rest of his life.”
Added Nassri: “We heard that he was having financial problems. 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.”
So, before the end of 2017, Nassri wrote a check for $1,700 to wipe away the rest of Davis’ fines. That money, Nassri said, came out of funds set aside for mosque renovations.
“We thought this was the right thing to do,” 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.”
Nassri says “Al Salam” means “peace” and he continues to uphold that meaning.
“If he would’ve known who we are, he wouldn’t of done this,” Nassri said. “If we would’ve known his troubles with us, we would’ve tried to help him. Communication is extremely important. Education is extremely important.”