Columbus community condemns graffiti left on three local churches

By Eric Levy

COLUMBUS, Ind. (Aug. 31, 2014) — Three Columbus churches are hit by graffiti artists, who left a message that many are questioning.

The graffiti artist tagged the outside of the churches with specific chapters and verses from the Quran. The vandalism is being condemned by members of the Islamic religion and the entire community.

The word “infidels” and “Qur’an 3:151″ were written in black spray paint on the front and side of St. Bartholomew Catholic Church.

“It’s upsetting to people, certainly because we have a beautiful church, but also because what is the message if there is a message? Because, there’s just not a whole lot to go on,” said Father Doug Marcotte, Associate Pastor for St. Bartholomew Catholic Church.

Fr. Marcotte thinks it happened sometime between Saturday night and before Sunday church services. It was discovered, but quickly removed. Though there are still a lot of questions as to why “infidels”, and why the Quran.

“What are you trying to say, and are you just trying to be mean,” asked Fr. Marcotte.

Similar graffiti was cleaned off the front of Lakeview Church of Christ in Columbus. No specific mention of the Quran here, but “infidels” and another word were spray painted by the front door.

“Qur’an 19:88″ and “infidels” were left on two spots of East Columbus Christian Church during that same time period.

“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.

Khaled says the important thing to realize is reading the verses, that were spray painted on the buildings, alone, can make them sound scary. In his eyes, they’re actually far from that. Khaled met with members of that East Columbus Christian Church to show togetherness.

“We show our support, we actually want to come and clean this mess with our friends and neighbors of the church,” he said.

Police have been notified, and one of the churches actually had a surveillance camera nearby. They hope that’ll provide some clue as to who did this.

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