WATERLOO, IA (KWWL/WCMH) — Members of a Waterloo, Iowa, mosque are on edge after someone vandalized their place of worship.
The word “Trump” was spray painted in red on the mosque’s brick walls. The members are shocked at the bold statement saying the message behind this word is unclear.
“I don’t understand what kind of message they are trying to send,” said Seema Khan. “I don’t even think they understand what they are doing.”
No one is sure how long the five letters spelling “TRUMP” have been on the wall of the mosque. Police responded to the mosque after 9 p.m. on Friday regarding the graffiti.
“People have been talking about incidents like this across the country, but we did not imagine it would happen this close to home,” said Khan. “There was a lot of anger, there were a lot of tears, there was a lot of frustration and more than anything there is a lot of fear.”
Dema Kazkaz, President of Islamic Center, says that the Republican presidential candidate’s rhetoric feeds that fear.
“He wants to ban Muslims,” she said. “he wants to put gadgets on us saying he wants to monitor where we are going. There has been an increase in Islamophobia because of the dangerous rhetoric that he is using against us; it’s going to take years and years of hard work to replace it with a good image of Muslims.”
Waterloo Police say that they have no suspects at this time and no indication of who committed the act of vandalism. The Black Hawk County Republicans say they don’t think a Trump supporter did it but released a statement speaking out against this behavior.
“This campaign has brought forward very passionate feelings on both sides and we hope that this kind of behavior would cease and be replaced by actual conversations about opposing ideas,” the statement said.
Mosque members hope that instead of vandalism, people take the time to learn about their culture and beliefs.
“This will not stop us, this is not what defines us,” Khan said.