Bacon vandals apologize for disrespecting Murfreesboro mosque - WSMV News 4

Bacon vandals apologize for disrespecting Murfreesboro mosque

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The vandalism happened July 10 in Murfreesboro. (WSMV) The vandalism happened July 10 in Murfreesboro. (WSMV)

Eight months ago, two young men were caught on camera wrapping uncooked bacon around door handles of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

The mosque has faced a long history of vandalism, protests and lawsuits.

But this week, a step was made toward mutual understanding, healing and forgiveness. 

Thomas Gibbs and Charles Stout admitted they are the two men on security footage putting bacon on the center’s door handles. They also spraypainted vulgar remarks on the building and playground.

On Friday, the two vandals stood before the congregation to say sorry.

The Friday Prayer is the largest service of the week at the Islamic Center, so more than 100 people were there to listen to the two men apologize.

“I’ve lived in regret every day of my life since I stepped foot on your property,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs and Stout were graciously welcomed by the congregation they once disrespected.

“I would never want anyone to feel unwelcome in their place of worship,” Stout said.

They humbly asked for forgiveness, and the Islamic community was happy to give it.

“I think those young men did not know any better before committing their act last July. I hope they learned something new today,” said the Center's spokesman Dr. Saleh Sbenaty.

Sbenaty says the experience was healing for everyone.

“It was very refreshing to have done something and then be so welcomed and forgiven,” Gibbs said.

There are other cases of vandalism against the center that have not yet been solved. Dr. Sbenaty hopes maybe those vandals will see what happened Friday and have a change of heart.

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