Faith leaders respond to sheriff candidate's plan to address 'growing Muslim problem'

SPOKANE, Wash. - Concern is building among the Spokane Interfaith Council after a Spokane County Sheriff candidate promised to monitor all Muslims at a local mosque, all the time, saying online that the Spokane area has a "growing Muslim problem."

DumpOzzie Dot Com, formerly known as Michael "Scott" Maclay, posted his about his plans on his campaign Facebook page as his promise to deal with the "unrestrained Muslim numbers in our Community." He's challenging incumbent Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich in this year's election. 

His plans call for using volunteers from Spokane's Sheriff Community Oriented Policing Efforts (S.C.O.P.E) to "monitor the comings and goings of all suspicious activities" at the Spokane Islamic Center. His post went on to say he would institute constant surveillance, that includes patrolling the area with golf carts and radios. 

Spokane Interfaith Council Director Skyler Oberst said Dot Com's comments are regrettable. 

"I think that is beneath the standards of our country. It eats away at everyone's rights, whether you are a Muslim or not, and it's not who we are as Americans," Oberst said. 

Sheriff Knezovich said his opponents' plan is unconstitutional and dangerous. 

"If we alienate them and we do have threats that come into the area, who are we supposed to be talking to? And that's one of the things my opponent just doesn't seem to get," Knezovich said. 

Dot Com was unavailable for an on-camera interview but did say in his post on Facebook that he plans to visit the mosque. That's something Oberst said he'd like to help arrange through the Spokane Interfaith Council. 

"I'd love to introduce him to some of these amazing people," Oberst said. 

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