The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) on Monday expressed solidarity with the Muslim American Youth Foundation (MAYF) after its center in Burien was damaged in a hit-and-run ramming incident Monday morning, Mar. 7, 2022.

Police say that at around 9:15 a.m. on Monday, a silver car reportedly rammed into the prayer space inside the community center. The car then reportedly reversed and sped off, leaving extensive damage and the car’s bumper and hubcap behind.

A witness saw an occupied vehicle parked for three hours before rolling down a hill, then into the window of the building before leaving the scene.

The suspect vehicle was a newer silver Toyota Camry, with its bumper left at scene.

The suspected driver was a male in his early 20s, and remains at large.

No injuries were reported.

This is the fifth Islamic center that has been targeted in Washington in the past four months, in addition to many other houses of worship that have been targeted.

“This is yet another disturbing act of violence at a Washington State Islamic center,” CAIR-WA Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi said. “If there happened to be people praying inside the facility at the time of this hit-and-run, we would be talking about extensive injuries taking place. This is a community that is a haven for many young people, and it’s heartbreaking to see their facility damaged in this way. We stand with our brothers and sisters in the MAYF community and hope the person responsible will be brought to justice soon.”

King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove – who was raised in Burien – released the following statement on Tuesday:

“The recent act of violence against the Muslim American Youth Foundation (MAYF) in Burien is reprehensible and doesn’t reflect the values of our community. I had the honor of previously visiting the facility, which is a safe space and treasured resource for Muslim youth throughout the region. The center is a wonderful positive asset in Burien and is led by a gifted and well-respected community leader.

“This is not the Burien I grew up in, know and love. Burien is a wonderfully diverse city full of people who respect our fellow community members, regardless of race or religion. I stand with the staff and youth of MAYF, the broader Muslim community and all of those who condemn this act of hate. Let’s all recommit ourselves to advancing our shared values of love – not hate; peace – not violence; and understanding – not fear.”

The MAYF is located at the old Highline Athletic Club property at 125 S. 156th Street: