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County Executive Expresses Dismay At Vandalism of Monroe Mosque
September 16, 2017

This report was first published in the Chronicle's Breaking News column
Chronicle staff

(MONROE, WA.) -- Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers issued a statement Friday saying he was, "shocked and saddened by the news today of the vandalism to the Ahmadiyya Community Mosque in Monroe. This kind of behavior won’t be, nor can it be, tolerated."

Somers went on to say that, " America was founded to provide freedom for all to worship; this right is fundamental. Any attack on a religious institution is against everything that makes our country good. I will do all I can to support the mosque and our community. We will never allow this kind of behavior to go unchallenged. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors and friends.”

A vandal or vandals spray-painted a vulgarity on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Seattle Monroe mosque at some time over the last week.

The Mosque is located not far from Highway 2 and Main Street, just a short distance up the Old Owen Road which leads to Sultan.

According to a report at thestranger.com, every Friday morning, the Seattle Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community hosts a food bank at its mosque in Monroe.

"Ten local families show up every week to get food, said Alam Ali, Director of Media and Public Affairs for the chapter.

But volunteers arrived Friday morning at the mosque to see its front facade defaced with spray paint. Written next to an unintelligible mash of black and yellow was the message: "F**k U."

The report says the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office believes the spray painting occurred sometime between Sunday afternoon and Friday.

Police ask that anyone with information about the graffiti call its anonymous tip line at 425-388-3845.

"We will not tolerate any crimes motivated by prejudice in Snohomish County," said Sheriff Ty Trenary. "We are asking for the public's help to find who committed this hateful act and so we can bring them to justice."

On Sunday, the mosque held a blood drive to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack in America.

A report by the Morning News Tribune quotes Muslim community spokesman Alam Ali as saying, "“Maybe the person who did this just doesn’t understand Islam or there may be some people who are fearful of us. We want to see if we can reach out to our neighbors and have a conversation.”

Other northwest mosques, in Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond have all experienced threats or vandalism in the past two years.

Acting out in anger: what it means

Psychologists have long known that vandalism is often an expression of anger on the part of the vandal and in turn, anger is an emotion very closely related to fear.

Sometimes anger is a manifestation of inner fears.

In a 2012 report in Psychology in Every Day Life Dr. Deborah Khoshaba noted, "Your anger may mask fears and vulnerabilities that are hitching a ride on events slightly related, if at all to the ax of anger that you really wish to grind... if you really want to manage your anger, you have to know what it may be hiding."

Anger is the fight part of the age-old fight-or-flight response to threat.

Dr. Khoshaba again:

" But, we (modern, civilized humans) don’t always have the option to fight what threatens us. Instead, we have anger. Words are the civilized way that we get to fight threat. And, some words, as you know, are meant to sting as deeply as a stab wound. Anger is one of the ways that we help our body to prepare for potential danger. Anger stimulates adrenaline to rouse the brain and body to fight or flee a threatening situation....

... Today, we are civilized; we’ve formed identities of preferences and values of living that make us complex and psychologically defensive. Assaults to your principles, beliefs, and needs and wishes are the basis for your anger, now. And, you will protect your identity as strongly as if you were defending your right to food, shelter, water or land.

Oh, we human beings do weave a tangled web, because of our defensive nature. We learn to conceal our fears from others and to protect ourselves from feeling weak, ashamed, and embarrassed. We are so good at this that sometimes, we even deceive ourselves as to what is provoking us.

Thus, what we say is the reason for our anger may not actually be true. In some ways, cave men had it easier. They knew what they were fighting over. But, you may not know why a coworker, lover, family member or friend is angry with you or you with them because behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motivations and thought...hence, you can attribute your anger to something outside of you, rather than to your fears and vulnerabilities. Then, your denial, justification, or lie becomes a mask for what is really bothering you.

Protecting one’s Achilles’ heel is a life-and-death matter to the angered person. Seasoned therapists understand well what fear means to their patients. They never take their patients’ defenses away and expose their fears prematurely, without first giving them adequate experience of feeling vulnerable in front of them."

Her report then goes on to list the "Six Fears or Vulnerabilities That Anger Can Mask."

It's a worthwhile read.

And so is this one: Ten reasons you should not fear Muslims .



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