Flowers and good wishes shower Lynnwood mosque

By Warren Cornwall

Herald Writer

LYNNWOOD — On Tuesday, the messages were of hate and anger.

But by Thursday, the cards, flowers, phone calls and visits that poured in to the Dar Alarqam Mosque in Lynnwood were ones of support, sorrow and solidarity.

"We came down to give our apologies for the response they have gotten," said Amy Dennis of Lynnwood, who delivered a card to the mosque Thursday afternoon with her 10-year-old son Devon. "We know that they felt the pain that we are feeling."

The Dennises were part of a steady stream of people seeking to metaphorically wipe away the black paint splattered on the mosque’s sign and the menacing phone calls that came shortly after Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

Nasser, a member of the mosque’s board, had one word to describe how the community response had made him feel: "Relieved."

"This is what we really expected from American people," he said.

Still, there remains a fear of harassment or attacks from people angered by the terrorism and by mounting speculation that Islamic extremists were behind it.


Nasser asked that his last name not be published, worried that he could be targeted. Attendance at evening prayer services has been half of normal since Tuesday. The gatherings are attended only by men, not the women and children who also usually come, Nasser said. Some families have urged mosque leaders to cancel weekend activities for children.

"Maybe some are staying home for fear of something," he said.

As news of anti-Arab or anti-Muslim incidents surfaced here and around the nation, local and national leaders have urged American’s not to direct their outrage toward Arab-Americans and Muslims.

"Our nation must be mindful that there are thousands of Arab-Americans who live in New York City who love their flag just as much as the three of us do. And we must be mindful that as we seek to win the war, that we treat Arab-Americans and Muslims with the respect they deserve," President George Bush said during a televised phone conversation with New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York Gov. George Pataki.

Lynnwood Mayor Tina Roberts-Martinez welcomed the support that came to the mosque.

"I think it shows that they have community support," she said.

No further incidents at the mosque have been reported to police, Roberts-Martinez said.

Elsewhere in the country, a rash of violence, threats and vandalism were reported.

Up to six shots were fired at an Islamic center in Irving, a Dallas suburb. No one was hurt. The door of a mosque in San Francisco was splattered with blood. Islamic centers in different cities were spray painted with threats. An Islamic bookstore in Alexandria, Va., a Washington suburb, had two bricks thrown through a window, with angry messages tied to them.

Muslim and Arab-American leaders, meanwhile denounced the terrorist attacks, welcomed the federal response to the targeting of their communities and promoted the charitable efforts of Muslims.

"We’re feeling very good that people are taking this so seriously," James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, said following a meeting with Justice Department and FBI officials about the discrimination.

In Lynnwood, Nasser said mosque leaders were trying to a find a nurse who could take blood donations from worshippers gathered for services today.

"We are all in the same boat," he said. "We are Americans, too.

Well-wishers arriving at the mosque echoed that.

"We think we need some unity right now, and we’re their neighbors," said Cindy Burch, the activity coordinator of a nearby housing complex.

The card and chrysanthemums she delivered joined a growing pile of flowers and cards in the mosque’s hallway.

Nasser said the mosque voice mail was filled with more than 100 messages of support from people Thursday. Others have come offering money to help pay for repairs to the damaged sign.

He said an unblemished sign would be erected outside the north Lynnwood mosque within a week.

"We’re going to fix it," he said.

Herald news services contributed to this report.

You can call Herald Writer Warren Cornwall at 425-339-3463 or send e-mail to

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island (Photo provided by Empower Investing)
Orcas Island’s storied Rosario Resort finds a local owner

Founded by an Orcas Island resident, Empower Investing plans” dramatic renovations” to restore the historic resort.

A possible development site for Snohomish Garden Townhomes at 9321 Paradise Lake Road on Friday, April 5, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Neighbors’ effort falls short of stopping 196 townhomes near Maltby

Nearby residents said the proposed development would make traffic much worse along Highway 522 — among other concerns.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

Dan Templeman speaks during a forum lead by The Daily Herald on housing affordability at the Mukilteo Library on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At Herald forum, experts affirm Housing First model, despite downsides

At the Mukilteo Library, panelists discussed drug-contaminated housing and lengthy cleanup efforts in Snohomish County.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.