A large sign offering support for the victims of the Paris terror attacks is attracting a lot of attention in Goleta.
Someone put the sign up on the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real, near the roundabout.
The sign reads ‘Je Suis Charlie’ or ‘I am Charlie’.
The property is owned by the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara and was purchased 14 years ago.
The property is the site of a future Islamic mosque and community center which was approved by the Goleta City Council in 2013.
The sign stopped UC Santa Barbara Student Jason Garshfield in his tracks.
He even stopped to take a picture.
“It hit home for me really hard because I’m studying French this year and just a few months ago, I was learning what ‘Je Suis’ meant,” Garshfield said.
The City of Goleta said the location is a popular place for people to post all kinds of signs because it’s in an area with high visibility.
“The city hasn’t had any discussion whether or not to remove the sign. It does violate our sign policy. But, we don’t actively go out and remove signs ,” public information officer Valerie Kushnerov said.
‘Je Suis Charlie’ became the rallying cry to support the French satirical publication
10 journalists were killed by men identified as Islamic extremists.
Garshfield said there is a justification for supporting free speech and building the mosque.
“We have to protect free speech and we have to add beautiful stuff to the world,” Garshfield said.
So far, no date has been set for construction.