Wednesday 21 August 2019

Jack (7) donates piggy bank to local mosque vandalised after Paris attacks

Mosque board member Faisal Naeem thanking Jack.
Jack Swanson.

Clare Cullen

A little boy has touched people worldwide after he was captured by a local news station donating the contents of his piggy bank to help a local mosque repair damages after it was vandalised.

The mosque of the Islamic center of Pflugerville, Texas was vandalised on Monday, three days after the attacks in Paris.

Local news station KXAN reported that the mosque members had arrived in the morning to find feaces "smeared" outside the mosque "with torn up pages of the Qur'an".

Mosque board member Faisal Naeem told KXAN that the incident was "very unexpected and honestly, quite shocking", but that he would forgive the person who did it. "If I find the person who did this... I would welcome them with open arms".

"The fear is that somebody is armed and takes the next step".

Locla mother Laura Swanson spoke to the news outlet, calling the act "disgusting".

"It doesn’t matter what you believe, what I believe, what he believes or anybody believes, all faith is important".

"What happened in Paris is not what is happening here in Pflugerville. We should all be supporting each other".

After hearing what had happened, Swanson's son Jack donated the contents of his piggy bank to the mosque to help with the repairs. KXAN reported that the act of kindness "restored Naeem's faith in humanity".

Naeem told Buzzfeed News that Jack was watching him being interviewed by KXAN and he thought the youngster was just curious about the camera.

"This isn’t New York, so when there are a lot of TV cameras, people stop to look... But when I finished, (Jack) came over and gave me $20".

Jack's mother told ABC News that Jack counted out all his saved pennies and changed them to a $20 note to give to Naeem.

"Jack's 20 dollars are worth twenty million dollars to us because it's the thought that counts" he told ABC News.

"This gives me hope... it's not one versus the other. Our kids are going to grow up together... If we have more kind-hearted kids like (Jack) in the world, I have hope for our future."

"That kid is hope".

Local police told Buzzfeed News that they had "never had anything like this happen before". The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Naeem told ABC News that he didn't want to assume the incident was motivated by "generalisations" following the events in Paris, and that the mosque "remains encouraged" by the outpouring of local support.

The outside of the mosque was washed clean by Monday night and the soiled papers replaced with flowers, Naeem added.

The clean up costs for the damage are estimated at around $150.



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