Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Anti-Muslim Violence, Hate Crimes, and Islamophobia

Sheila Musaji | The American Muslim | January 8, 2013 | [Original Article]

Our TAM collection of PREJUDICE, RACIST, OR VIOLENT INCIDENTS AT MOSQUES includes this summary of 2012 incidents and of anti-mosque efforts.  The collection itself contains links to information on each incident:

— An elderly man was attacked and beaten by two men in Queens, New York.  They first asked him if he was a Muslim or a Hindu. **  

— Another elderly man was beaten and stabbed when he came to open the doors of Masjid-al-Saaliheen in Queens, New York.  the suspect, who is believed to be in his 40’s, yelled anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic slurs at the time of the attack **

2012 SUMMARY of attacks on mosques (includes attacks on Arab churches and the Sikh Temple)—CALIFORNIA - Ibrahim Khillullah Mosque in Fremont, man threatened to shooteveryone.  - An Nur mosque in Ontario had pig legs thrown on the sites driveways.  Prayers at a Hayward Mosque were disrupted by teenagers throwing lemons and oranges, shooting bb guns, and insulting worshippers. - West Sacramento Islamic Center vandalized for second time. — Woman arrested at Islamic School and mosque in Florida for carrying a sword onto the property. — ILLINOIS - Gravestones at Evergreen Park cemetery vandalized twice.  - Lombard Mosque College Prep School hit with an acid filled bottle thrown during Taraweh prayers.  - Muslim Education Center Mosque in Morton Grove had shots fired during Taraweh prayers. — MARYLAND - Riverview Islamic Center vandalized. — MICHIGAN - Mother of the Savior Lutheran Church (Arab Christian) in Dearborn vandalized twice in a week.  - Fire and graffiti at Dearborn mosque. — MISSOURI - Two arsons attacks on Joplin mosque, second destroyed it.  NEVADA - Las Vegas mosque arson. — NEW HAMPSHIRE - Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Church Arabic sign vandalized.  NEW YORK - Elderly man beaten and stabbed when he came to open the doors of a Queen Mosque. - Masjid Darul Quran Mosque in N. Bayshore vandalized. - Fire bomb attack on Queens Imam al Khoei Mosque.  OHIO Arson attack on Toledo Mosque.  OKLAHOMA - Oklahoma City Mosque vandalized by paint balls fired at it. PENNSYLVANIA - St. Ann’s Arab Catholic Cathedral in Pottsville vandalized and Palestinian flags torn down. — RHODE ISLAND - N. Smithfield Mosque vandalized. — SOUTH CAROLINA - Rock Hills Mosque vandalized. — TENNESSEE - Man arrested for threats to blow up Murfreesboro mosque. — TEXAS - Man arrested for threatening to kill as many as possible at San Antonio Mosque. = A dead pig left outside a Houston mosque. — VIRGINIA - Harrisonburg Mosque vandalized.  - Dar al Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church vandalized. — WISCONSIN - Terrorist attack on Sikh Temple (possibly thought it was a mosque).

It is important to note that 17 of these incidents happened in a 2-month period in July and August of 2012.  See Why Is a mosque not like a church? for a discussion of this phenomenon. 

Some of these incidents could have resulted in deaths, and in some cases like the men who threatened to go into mosques and kill people, the only reason there were not deaths was because someone gave information to the police, and the police were able to arrest the perpetrators before they were able to carry out these acts.

Update 1/6/2013— Someone shot into windows at the Prince Aga Khan Shia Ismaili Jamatkhana in Fayetteville, GA **

Since August, when the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin was attacked and 6 innocent people were killed there have been in addition to crimes against houses of worship, a number of attacks and even murders of individuals.

JANUARY 2013 — A couple attacked outside a Walmart in Pasco, Florida.  They were harassed with racial slurs, including shouting “n**ger with a white girl,” as they were leaving a local Walmart at 3 a.m. today. A police report indicates that the shooting victim was asked if he is Middle Eastern and whether he is Muslim. He reportedly answered “no” to each question.  The alleged attacker shot the man at least twice in the face with a pellet gun. Local law enforcement authorities are investigating the incident (Police Report 13-163) as a hate crime. (see update 1/2/13 below)

DECEMBER 2012— A woman was arrested for murder as a hate crime for pushing a Hindu man off the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens, New York two days earlier because she believed him to be a Muslim or a Hindu.  The man was killed by an oncoming train.  She told police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.”  ** 

NOVEMBER 2012 — A Sikh cab driver in Seattle, Washington was badly beaten by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs.  **

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