Anti-Muslim messages found in books left at Bothell mosque

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Christine Willmsen

Worshipers at the Islamic Center of Bothell are fearful of what may happen next after discovering 10 books with hate-motivated language in the mosque’s parking lot Saturday.

Bothell police are investigating the incident and other incidents that have happened at the mosque in recent months.

Sunday, the Washington chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) sent a letter to the FBI, asking it to launch a deeper investigation.

Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of CAIR-WA, said the mosque has been targeted in the recent past with a sandwich board vandalized with black spray paint in September and an Islamic Center of Bothell flag burned in early February.

“Our concern stems from the escalating” events, he said. “Worshipers are wondering what’s next.”

Bukhari said the 10 books about Islam had hand-written notes that stated it’s a “pagan cult” and “satanic cult.” The books were placed in different parking stalls.

Two meetings were cancelled Sunday because of the incident, said Ahmed Idrees, president of the Islamic Center of Bothell, who added that someone had spray-painted the wall of the mosque’s entrance with male genitalia in October.

“There is quite a bit of fear,” Idrees said. “We have families who have children and infants. Being where we are with different religions, and color and people from different parts of the world, we don’t expect that type of thing in the Seattle area.”

Mosque leaders and worshipers have scheduled a news conference for Monday about this most recent incident.


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