Mindless vandalism

The Islamic Center in Cape Girardeau has been a good neighbor on West End Boulevard since it was located there several years ago. Over time, the area Muslims who consider the center to be their religious home have made improvements to the building and have held community events to give non-Muslims a better understanding of Islam.

It is against this backdrop that the sting of vandalism is even more painful. A man, who apparently was intoxicated at the time, has been charged after windows were broken by rocks hurled through them. A car in the center's parking lot also was damaged.

There is no good explanation for vandalism, other than such destructive acts are fueled by misguided motives and often carried out by those impaired in some way, often by the fog of alcohol.

Cape Girardeau is, in so many ways, an open and tolerant community. As a result, it reflects the hopes and ideals of a nation that has welcomed millions of immigrants from so many backgrounds -- a nation that made freedom of religion the subject of the very first amendment to its nascent Constitution.

Many of the Islamic Center's neighbors have already made it clear they do not welcome vandalism. We join them.