TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - About two weeks ago, two women showered the courtyard of the Temple Islamic Community Center with anti-Muslim rhetoric. The video was posted on Facebook showed the two women with three children walking around the mosque, saying anti-Islam vitriol and taking flyers and posters from the place of worship.
Even though the video was removed from one of the women's Facebook pages, it has been seen across the nation.
But on Saturday, the local community came together and showered the mosque with love and acceptance.
"Love trumps hate, love trumps hate," was chanted across the courtyard.
"This is America, this is what it's all about," said Emily Kirkland, a community member.
"Anytime there's hatred that's expressed in a neighborhood, everybody should support the people that are being labored on," said Brad Singer, a community member.
Leaders of the mosque invited the community out for an opportunity to learn about Islam if they wanted, but it was also an opportunity to come together and support each other. And that's exactly what they did.
"For every evil, bad act there are many more people who will come out and support against these things," Kirkland said.
"I just think it's really important to show that we stand with the Muslim American community. We know what critical roles they play as friends, as neighbors, as coworkers," said Melissa Singer.
"I came to learn more and part of the community is to accept each others' differences and that's why we're here to be accepting," said another community member.
"It is really heartwarming. It's beautiful," said a mosque member.
Members of the mosque shared what they say they knew all along: that the vulgar video didn't define their community, and Saturday's act of love did.
The two women, Elizabeth Daunhauer and Tahnee Gonzales, are expected to be back in court on March 29. They are facing third degree burglary charges.
LOVE TRUMPS HATE: Community members show up by the dozens two support #Tempe Mosque that police say was burglarized by the 2 women who took to Facebook to express their hate for Islam and denounce it. #Fox10Phoenix pic.twitter.com/HlnWelhuGK— Stefania Okoliè (@StefaniaFOX10) March 17, 2018
Children of ALL backgrounds play happily in the courtyard of the #Tempe Mosque... no parents promoting ideas of “evil” and “disgust” ... just accepting one another. Loving one another. How we should. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FMOIVbW07H— Stefania Okoliè (@StefaniaFOX10) March 17, 2018