Rutherford County deputies are looking for a man accused of robbing the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. It happened this week as the center was celebrating the end of Ramadan. Community outreach coordinator Dr. Saleh Sbenaty said the man had come to the center earlier to use the restroom. Sbenaty believes the suspect used that time to scope out where the money was kept. When he came back later, it appears the suspect used a knife to break into donation boxes and steal thousands of dollars. “We believe this person was in great need and that's why he broke into a house of worship,” Sbenaty said.

Sbenaty said if the man had asked for help, the center would have provided it. “We help not only the Muslim, but also the non-Muslim,” Sbenaty said. Even though the situation is unfortunate, the center does not plan to change its open-door policy. “Our doors are always open and will always be open to anyone, even opponents,” Sbenaty said. Sbenaty said at a time when tensions in America are high, unity is important. “Dialogue is key, education is key, working together is key. Let’s build bridges, not walls,” he said. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Detective Randy Groce of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office at 615-904-1952 and leave a message.