On Tuesday, the Herald of Everett, Washington, reported that authorities are investigating flyers with the words “Ban Islam from America” that was posted at the site of a planned mosque in Mukilteo, a coastal community of about 20,000 people. Additionally, the report said, an American flag was placed nearby.
The Herald added:
The flyers had about six paragraphs of “anti-Islamic rhetoric,” said Mukilteo police officer Myron Travis. The flyers were attached to a sign that has been posted on property at 3920 Harbour Pointe Blvd. announcing it as the site of the planned mosque. The mosque’s sign also was damaged.
Police are investigating the incident as possible malicious harassment, which can be charged as a felony. Police collected the signs and the flag as potential evidence.
The vandalism was reported by an anonymous caller Thursday afternoon.
It’s not the first time the mosque has been the subject of controversy.
Last month, a local business owner sent postcards citywide alerting residents of its construction.
“If you would like to receive notifications about the mosque as information becomes available, send an e-mail to email@example.com,” the card read.
That prompted Mohammed Riaz Khan, president of the planned Islamic Center of Mukilteo, to demand a public apology from Peter Zieve, who initially claimed to know nothing about the mailer. Zieve, who was traveling at the time, told the Herald he would comply.
In late April, Zieve wrote:
I am writing today to offer you my personal apology [“Head of Electroimpact apologizes, clarifies postcard,” April 20, front page]. I regret many of the things I have said and written. I regret sending the postcards and upsetting so many people in our community and beyond.
I have reacted with a sense of fear to recent world events involving radical Islam. This fear is what drove me to my actions.
Based on the response I received to my communications, I have come to the realization that I need to take time to understand others’ experiences and viewpoints. I want and need to learn to be more tolerant to people of other cultures and with other values.
According to the Herald (Emphasis added):
Khan said that local Muslim families, kids and business people have been affected by Zieve’s anti-mosque campaign.
Sending out a postcard of apology will “soften the hearts of the citizens of Mukilteo,” Khan said, and ensure that all Mukilteo families, including Islamic families, are safe.
The Islamic Center of Mukilteo had previously called for a boycott of Zieve’s business, in part for what it characterized as Zieve’s public promotion of anti-Muslim bias.
Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson denounced the flyer, calling it “hateful and unacceptable.”
“I don’t think that represents Mukilteo,” she said. “My community values diversity,” she added. “Mukilteo is a place for everyone.”.
The deadline for public comment on the planned mosque is May 20.
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