Graffiti cleanup at Islamic Center of the Twin Ports

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Members of the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports (ICTP) received help from Temple Israel with graffiti cleanup, discovered on Friday. The ICTP board president John Dahl, said the vandalism was most likely teenagers, not a hate crime.

“Unfortunately, this is the second time we’ve had some graffiti,” Dahl said. “The first time we immediately painted over it and hope that that would be a one-time event. That wasn’t the case.”

The graffiti cleanup became an opportunity for members of both places of worship to make connections and help one another.

“I thought maybe we can make some lemonade out of lemons and reach over to our Jewish sisters and brothers in the community and see if they can help have a communal event to try and paint it.”

Debbie Freeman with Temple Israel said she understands the raw emotion seeing your place of worship vandalized.

“I feel like in a time like this, like what’s happening in the world and even what’s happening right in our community, the best way to feel more safe is to honor our shared humanity,” Freeman said. “To do things together with others in our community.”

After the graffiti cleanup, members had light snacks while sharing their perspectives on what’s happening with the conflict in the Middle East.

“I think that the hard part is that I don’t want to see any loss of life on any side of the of the border,” Freeman said. “The violence that happened on Saturday was terrifying. And there’s absolutely no excuse for it.”

Dahl said this small gathering from both ICTP and Temple Israel served as a chance for local unity during a globally divisive time.

“I think as a father, I can certainly empathize with the concern of parents in the in the Holy Land right now,” Dahl said. “It’s tough to watch. And these are tough times.”

Also they talked about how people in Duluth can come together and help the community during this difficult time.  

“But I feel like in our own community here in Duluth, we can we can make for some goodness amongst ourselves and to make sure that our bonds are strong with each other.”

Here’s more information about the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports and Temple Israel. Also for other stories happening in Duluth you can read more here.