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Community calls on police to investigate Mountlake Terrace mosque vandalism as hate crime

Two suspects entered areas of the Masjid Umar Al-Farooq Mosque that were not open to the public and desecrated religious items.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. — There are calls for police to investigate vandalism at a mosque in Mountlake Terrace as a possible hate crime.

Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, two suspects entered areas of the Masjid Umar Al-Farooq Mosque not open to the public.

The local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the suspects walked in with their shoes on and desecrated religious items.

According to police, the suspects removed several items, including prayer rugs and Qurans, and then disposed of them in a dumpster.

The suspects also damaged cabinets in an attempt to reach potentially valuable items.

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A male suspect in his 50s was arrested and booked into Snohomish County Jail. An unidentified female suspect has not been identified.

CAIR Washington called on law enforcement to investigate a possible bias motive for the vandalism.

“This was a disturbing incident not only marked by a burglary but by a hateful display by throwing Qurans and other religious items in a dumpster," said CAIR-Washington Executive Director Imraan Siddiqui. "Our houses of worship should be places where our communities can come together and feel safe, rather than having to see this hateful string of incidents across our state this past month.”

The incident comes about a week after the Islamic Center of Tacoma was the target of a possible arson attack. In September, the FBI announced it would assist with an investigation into vandalism at Khalsa Gurmat Center in Federal Way.

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