by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:
Bothell, Wash. - The FBI is investigating hateful messages found scrawled inside Islamic books left outside a Bothell mosque. Members of the Islamic Center of Bothell said someone arriving at the center on Saturday for early-morning prayers found 10 books placed around the parking lot. Written on the inside covers were messages insulting Islam and Allah. One message called Islam "a pagan cult of satanic origin."
"I was extremely scared," Jennifer McDonald, a member of the mosque, said. It's just the most recent and most threatening attack at the center. "We're scared to know, what's this leading up to?" McDonald asked.
Earlier this month, members discovered someone had pulled a flag out of the ground in front of the center and burned it. Last fall, someone spray-painted male genitals on the building and spray-painted one of the center's signs. In November 2012, members found something eerily similar to this weekend's discovery: Islamic books with hateful messages.
The books used this past weekend were identical to educational books about Islam handed out by a Muslim group at the Bothell library a few weeks ago. "I think it was used the wrong way," Arsalan Bukhari, Executive Director at Council on American-Islamic Relations of Washington State, said. "They were meant to educate people about Islam and then they wrote their own views." He said they found what looks like a reminder note accidentally left by the suspect. "It had someone's name and address in Florida and a note to the person who wrote it," he said. "[It said] to send a money order for $430 to that name and address for rims." Bukhari hopes that person will help the FBI track down whoever is behind the hate.
The mosque has installed one security camera and members said it intends to install several more.