Three Christian churches in Columbus, Indiana were defaced with graffiti containing specific verses from the Qur'an that name non-Muslims as "infidels".
Local news station WTHR.com is reporting that the word "infidels" and specific verses from the Qur'an were spray painted on the church walls of St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ sometime on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning.
“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!'” said Father Doug Marcotte of what was spray painted on the side of his church.
Parishioners saw this word, along with the words "Qur'an 3:151" scrawled on the exterior wall of the church when coming to Mass on Sunday morning.
Specifically, this passage of the Qur'an reads: "We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers."
“It's certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse," Father Marcotte said. “It's really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It's not like we're all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us?”
The words “Qur’an 19:88″ and “infidels” were left on two spots of East Columbus Christian Church during the same time period.
Local Muslims have been quick to speak out against the despicable actions.
“We condemn this, and I read the verse; most importantly what that showed me is the ignorance who actually misquoted or misinterpreted the Quran,” said Nassim Khaled, a resident of Columbus who volunteers at the Islamic Center, to Fox59.com.
Khaled and some other members of the Muslim community helped to clean the writing off the walls as a sign of support.
Meanwhile, Columbus police are searching for whoever might be responsible for the crime. Luckily, one of the churches had a surveillance camera nearby which they hope will lead to identifying the perpetrators.
Authorities have not yet commented on whether they had alerted federal authorities to the vandalism because of its nature.
"Is there somebody that really believes this - that we're all infidels so they felt the need to write it all over our church? “ asked Father Marcote. “Is this some sort of nasty prank? Is this someone that's trying to incite people against Muslims?"
Parishioners at St. Bartholomew's parish are understandably upset by the incident.
“There's a lot of bad stuff being done in the name of Allah and so when people see this happening in Columbus, whether that was truly the person's intent or there's something else going on, It makes people nervous," Father Marcotte said. "It makes people upset. It makes them scared.”
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