Wash. mosque hired 24-hour armed guards after vandalism

It looked like someone smashed the mosque's sign with a sledgehammer

This Redmond mosque was vandalized and has been in the past. November, 22, 2016, (MAPS Facebook page)
This Redmond mosque was vandalized and has been in the past. November, 22, 2016, (MAPS Facebook page)

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) – Authorities are condemning the vandalism of granite sign outside a Redmond mosque.

Mahmood Khadeer, president of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, said 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.

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.”

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.”