Officials condemn vandalism of Redmond mosque

Associated Press

REDMOND — Authorities are condemning the vandalism of a granite sign outside a Redmond mosque.

Mahmood Khadeer, president of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, said Tuesday it looked like someone smashed the sign with a sledgehammer in what he called a “clear act of hate.”

The organization has increased security, including hiring 24-hour armed guards, but will not cancel any events, including a Thanksgiving dinner planned Wednesday for residents of the homeless encampment Tent City 4, he said. The mosque’s security cameras did not capture the vandalism, which was discovered by staff and reported to police Monday morning, he said.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione said in a news release Tuesday the vandalism won’t be tolerated, and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene said she’s “deeply saddened that members of our community are experiencing fear and intimidation at their place of worship.”

“Our community will continue to stand strongly in favor of diversity and inclusion, and not allow an individual act of vandalism to define us,” Marchione said.

Khadeer says he hopes that as people gather for Thanksgiving they will consider the holiday’s message of togetherness and “replace fear with love and reflection.” He said the Muslim Association of Puget Sound has received messages of support from throughout the community, including offers to help rebuild the sign from leaders of other faiths.

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