"The guys came in here and bent the fence," said Cherif Amor, a member of the Islamic Center of the South Plains, retracing a night of violence. "The concrete blocks are here," he said, standing outside a broken window.
On Sunday morning vandals defiled his house of worship. Monday afternoon the faithful were framed with shards of glass. The mosque is surrounded by a seven foot fence, three rows of barbed wire, a sign that warns that the premises is monitored by security 24 hours a day. While it failed to keep out the hate, its successful in its new job; holding sentiments of love, flowers, from a community banding together.
"The solidarity arises from who religions are at their best," said Reverend Ted Dotts of United Methodist. "Any threat to a religious group is an affront to every group in society," said Catholic Bishop Placido Rodriguez.
Across town, FBI Special Agent John McSwain is trying to figure out who did it. "The FBI investigates any situation where a house of worship has been vandalized," he said.
So far, authorities have held back from officially calling it a hate crime, but in the religious community there is no hesitation. "I have no doubt that it's a hate crime," said Dotts. "What was really hurtful is the graffiti. The words are much more than the damage," said Amor. Racial slurs too vile for our cameras to show.
How long will the investigation take? "Depending on leads, evidence left behind, and tips from the community, will determine the length of the investigation," said McSwain.
A house of worship wounded, but resilient. Ending a press conference with a prayer, the shattered window allowing the cadence to be carried even further.