Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to a gathering at the Abu-Bakr Islamic Center in Tukwila on Friday. Abdirisak Ahmed (Mahad), the center’s director, middle, and Shiekh Ahmed Nur, Iman of the center, right, listen. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Inslee visits Islamic center, delivers message of hope and understanding

Muslim community thanks governor for his fight against Trump’s executive order on immigration

Feeling under the weather and running behind schedule, Gov. Jay Inslee found warmth at a Tukwila mosque Friday afternoon.

Inslee, wife Trudi and his entourage briefly visited the Abu-Bakr Islamic Center of Washington to deliver a message of hope and understanding.

The timely visit comes a day after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of Washington state, maintaining the suspension of President Donald Trump’s executive order on Muslim immigration. The decision means that a stay preventing a ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries remains in place, at least for now. The ruling came after the three-judge panel heard arguments this week from the Justice Department and Washington state.

The ruling is a win for all people, regardless of religion, and supports the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution, Inslee emphatically told the gathering Friday.

“This has been a personal joy for me,” he said. “It has been a painful thing for many of your brothers and sisters who have gone through very difficult days because of the executive order of the president.

“But this is democracy at work,” Inslee said. “The single most beautiful thing about the state of Washington is that we believe in justice for all people. We must protect the freedom of all religions, for Baptists, for Jews, for Sikhs, for Hindus, for Muslims … for all sects, for all people, whatever their beliefs are, and for nonbelievers.”

The legal fight will likely continue to the U.S. Supreme Court, Inslee and the state’s legal team acknowledge, but Thursday’s ruling gives the Muslim community some hope, they said.

“The governor is a champion,” Abdirisak Ahmed (Mahad), the center’s director, said to cheers from the crowd. “Since all this started, the governor was everywhere. … The other day he welcomed the person who was deported and came back again. … He stood up to the administration.”

Shiekh Ahmed Nur, Iman of the Abu-Baker Islamic Center, embraced Inslee’s efforts.

“On behalf of the whole Muslim community, I want to thank Gov. Inslee for standing up for justice when it really matters … for standing up for the minorities, the Muslim people.”

The center, off Tukwila International Boulevard, has served thousands of Muslims since it opened in 2009. About 400 youths come through the center each week for cultural learning and other programs and more than 2,000 people attend prayer each Friday, according to center officials.

Inslee took a moment to praise the center and the work of its followers.

“I want to thank you for being an important part of your community,” Inslee said. “Your children are doing great work in schools … your kids are doing great work in athletics. You are caring for our people in hospitals. You are doing research. You are designing Boeing airplanes.

“We do know that we are a resilient country,” Inslee added. “We can overcome fear. We know that fear can be a powerful force. But we know compassion, love and understanding and common sense and a little bit of courage can lead (us to become) a more blessed community.”

More in News

Responding to a cry for help

United Way of King County’s Family Resource Exchange serves hundreds of homeless at Green River College

Utility work to affect Auburn Way North, 10th Street NE to 15th Street NE | Update

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 22, through Friday, Feb. 8, utility work by InfraSource… Continue reading

Auburn Food Bank dedicates service Jan. 23 to help federal employees

The Auburn Food Bank is offering a food bank service Wednesday, Jan.… Continue reading

Microsoft will invest $500 million toward regional housing

Mayors of nine cities — including Auburn, Kent, Federal Way, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton and Sammamish — have pledged to help

Auburn School Board recognizes outstanding staff member

The Auburn School District Board of Directors recognized Chris Telford, jewelry teacher… Continue reading

City offers assistance to federal employees

Late fees, service interruptions suspended for furloughed Auburn residents

State Rep. Sullivan proposes 1 percent interest rate for student loans

Attempt to make higher education more affordable

This artist’s rendering depicts what the Hilton hotel south of Safeway on Auburn Way South will look like. COURTESY IMAGE
‘Tru By Hilton’ project ready to sprout

Four-story, 90-room, 40,000-square-foot hotel planned for downtown site

Residents at SeaTac’s Firs Mobile Home Park received a closure notice for October 31, but most have chosen to stay in their homes. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
South King County coalition targets affordable housing

Rent and housing prices hit south end communities hard; SeaTac, Tukwila, Kent, Burien, Renton and Auburn are working to create organization like Eastside’s ARCH

Most Read