BOISE MOSQUE TARGETED WITH SWASTIKA STICKERS
Police are investigating after swastika-emblazoned stickers promoting a neo-Nazi group were plastered on the Islamic Center of Boise.
The stickers peeled off easily, leaving no physical damage to the mosque, police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said. But they left behind an emotional residue, with local Muslims wondering why they were targeted.
“These things don’t pop up in Boise very often, but they’re a cause for concern, especially when they show up on a mosque,” Hightower said.
The stickers were discovered Sunday morning, as children arrived at the mosque for Sunday school, said Furqan Mehmood, the center’s education director.
“We were concerned if this was targeted toward our children,” said Mehmood.
But after questioning members of the mosque, officials learned the stickers were actually left Saturday afternoon. Somali refugees who came to the mosque to pray that afternoon noticed the stickers but didn’t report them because they were unfamiliar with the swastika symbol and assumed they were from a delivery service or other benign source, Mehmood said. . .
During a service at the mosque Friday, Abdul Khaliq Yoonas encouraged the congregation to continue giving back to the Boise community despite facing harassment from others.
“Even in Idaho, as redneck as it gets at least, that’s the reputation that it has two years ago a Muslim received the Idaho human rights award,” Yoonas said. “Every one of us in our own way can make a contribution. … You will hear all kinds of stuff about you as Muslims and your faith, but let’s not let that affect us. You have to be steadfast in your belief system.”
The stickers promoted Combat 18, a loosely organized neo-Nazi group that likely originated in Britain, officials said.