Waterloo mosque members react to "Trump" graffiti - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo mosque members react to "Trump" graffiti

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Police are investigating vandalism on the side of Masjid Al Noor, a mosque in Waterloo.

The word "Trump" was spray painted in red, on the place of worship.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, mosque member. "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."

Fear because of what Donald Trump has publicly said about the Muslim community.

"He wants to ban Muslims," said Dema Kazkaz, President of Islamic Center. "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 his dangerous rhetoric that he is using against us, it's gonna take years and years of hard work to replace it with a good image of Muslims."

The Black Hawk County Republicans say they don't think the act of vandalism was done by a Trump supporter, but they say they don't condone that type of behavior.

They said in a statement Saturday, "This campaign has brought forward very passionate feelings on both sides and we would hope that this kind of behavior would cease and be replaced by actual conversations about opposing ideas."

Members of the mosque are also hopeful the behavior does not continue.

"It starts with stuff like this because this is where the questions start and then it just gets worse and worse, hopefully it doesn't happen, but if it does who suffers? Everyone suffers," said Khan.

Members of Masjid Al Noor are hopeful people will take time and learn about their culture and beliefs.

"This will not stop us, this is not what defines us," said Khan.

Waterloo Police say they aren't sure who is responsible and have no suspects at this time.

At last check, the "Trump" graffiti was removed from the side of the mosque Saturday.

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