REDMOND, Wash. — Redmond police said that on Sunday at about 6:30 p.m., a caller anonymously reported a threat he had heard against the Muslim Association of Puget Sound.
Police told KIRO 7 that person then called back 20 minutes later with more details. Police took these threats seriously and responded with extra security at the association's mosque, located at 17550 NE 67th Ct. in Redmond.
Members of the mosque told KIRO 7 there were about 350 men, women and children inside for prayer at the time. They said they are very appreciative of the police response and felt safer because of it.
Mahmood Khadeer, the president of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, or MAPS, said they checked their security cameras, and closed all doors but the front entrance. Khadeer said they also hired extra security guards for the evening.
He also said they continued their prayer activity and do not plan to change any of their activities for the coming week.
They are currently in the sacred month of Ramadan, when Muslims must fast from sunrise to sundown.
"We are supposed to stay away from any bad words that we are giving to the people. We are supposed to be kind, we are supposed you know, not hurt anybody," Khadeer said. "And if you keep that in perspective, this individual who has killed 50 innocent people and many more injured - just completely against the message of this month, and what Islam stands for."
He said that any attack on the rights of a minority group like the LGBTQ community, is an attack on all minority groups.
“We cannot let the terrorists win by dividing us,” he said.
Khadeer added that his community has already given blood and attended the Capitol Hill vigil, in solidarity with the rest of the country.
Khadeer spoke alongside an interfaith group, including Redmond Mayor John Marchione, former state representative Jesse Wineberry, and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brad Deardorff from the Seattle office.
Outside the mosque, James and Krystal Marx showed up with signs in support of the Muslim community.
On their first wedding anniversary, the couple said they wanted to spend time showing love.
“Some people go get a lobster dinner, and we make signs and drive across the county – and hold them so people can feel loved. Not just us,” she said.
Her sign read, “This bisexual Christian female loves her Muslim brothers and sisters.” Her husband’s sign read, “This Army combat veteran loves his Muslim brothers and sisters.”
James Marx said they came out after seeing a lot of hateful language on social media, directed at Muslims.
He said he saw people say, “'They all this’ – or ‘they all want that’ – or identifying as an entire people, or choosing this person as a representative for an entire religion.”
They said they were saddened to hear about the threat on Sunday night.
Both the FBI and Redmond police are investigating the case.
Cox Media Group