Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Seattle chapter hope law-enforcement officials find who spray-painted swear words on their Monroe mosque at some point over the last week.
But the members of that mosque don’t want to prosecute the person or people responsible. Instead, they want to use the incident as an opportunity to communicate with them.
“Maybe the person who did this just doesn’t understand Islam or there may be some people who are fearful of us,” said chapter spokesman Alam Ali. “We want to see if we can reach out to our neighbors and have a conversation.”
Volunteers who work in the mosque’s food bank arrived at the mosque Friday morning and saw the graffiti, Ali said, then reported it to law enforcement. Someone spray-painted unintelligible words in yellow, then painted over it in black, then spray-painted swear words on a wall.
Ali noted the irony of the weekly food-bank volunteers discovering the graffiti and that it was less than a week after the mosque held a blood drive to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information from the public about the incident, spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
The mosque has been open in Monroe for two years and has never experienced any hostility from residents, said Ali, who added that he was saddened not only for the Muslim community but for the Monroe community, too.
“We have received a tremendous amount of love and support, literally from the day we moved in,” he said. “We’ve never experienced anything like this before.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 425-388-3845.