In the weeks since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, reports of attacks and threats against Muslims in the United States have surged, researchers and civil rights groups say. According to a recent analysis based on reports from the news media and civil rights groups, the rate of suspected hate crimes against Muslims has tripled in the time since the attacks in Paris, with 38 attacks regarded as anti-Islamic. Here are some examples.
Mosques Vandalized with ‘Jesus’ Graffiti
Worshipers at two mosques arrived for prayers on Dec. 13 to find “Jesus” spray-painted on walls and, at one mosque, an object that appeared to be a hand grenade lying in the driveway (it turned out to be a plastic replica), according to Ahsan Khan, a mosque spokesman. A vandal spray-painted “Jesus is the way” on the walls of the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, the police said.
Sikh Temple Vandalized
Vandals struck a Sikh temple on Dec. 6, spray-painting expletive-laced graffiti that referred to Islam and to the Islamic State, the extremist group also known as ISIS and ISIL.
“The graffiti had gang codes and a racial slur and profanity in reference to ISIS and Islam, which was misspelled,” said Jaspreet Singh, a board member of the temple, the Gurdwara Singh Sabha. Sikhs have been frequent targets of anti-Muslim attacks, even though Sikhism and Islam are distinct religions.
Arson Suspected at Mosque
The authorities in California charged Carl James Dial, 23, with a hate crime, arson and burglary on Dec. 11 in connection with a fire that erupted in the Islamic Society of Coachella Valley shortly before a prayer service was scheduled to begin. No one was injured by the flames, which firefighters contained to the mosque lobby.
Convenience Store Clerk Shot
A convenience store worker was shot Dec. 15 by a man trying to rob the store who put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Inerjit Singh, who owns the shop, said the attacker had called the clerk a terrorist. “Then he put the gun in his mouth and said, ‘I killed guys like you in Iraq, so I never think about it when I shoot them anymore.’” The bullet passed through the man’s cheek, Mr. Singh said. “The shooter thought he was a Muslim,” he said, “but he is Sikh.”
Man Killed After Threatening MuslimsNorman, Okla.
Police officers shot an Oklahoma man after he called 911 two days after the Paris attacks and said he was going to shoot Muslims as an act of revenge. “I’m dealing with some severe mental illness,” Mark James Riedel, 47, told the 911 operator, according to a recording of the call obtained by a local CBS affiliate. “And I’m going to go out there and just start shooting anything that looks like a Muslim after what they did to France.”
Mr. Riedel emerged from his house with a pistol drawn and ignored commands to drop it, the police said in a statement.
High-Powered Rifle Fired at MosqueMeriden, Conn.
The federal authorities charged a man with “intentionally damaging religious property” after he used a high-powered rifle to fire several shots at a mosque next to his house in the early morning hours of Nov.14. The United States attorney for Connecticut, Deirdre M. Daly, said in a statement that Ted Hakey Jr. of Meriden had fired several rounds at the Baitul Aman Mosque. No one was inside at the time.
Cab Driver ShotPittsburgh
The police said a cab driver was shot in the back on Nov. 26 by a man they identified as Anthony Mohamed, who civil rights groups said had made anti-Muslim commentsand had demanded to know if the driver was from Pakistan. The driver has not been identified, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, said he was 38 years old and of Moroccan origin.
Hate Crime Is ChargedBrooklyn
Dainton Coley, 34, a postal worker in Brooklyn, was charged with menacing as a hate crime after, the authorities say, he pushed and spat on a Muslim woman who was pushing a baby in a stroller in November, DNAInfo reported. Using a profanity, he told her, “I’m gonna burn your Muslim temple down,” according to the police. The woman, 30, was walking with her sister when the man came up from behind them. The women ran into a nearby store with the baby, but Mr. Coley followed them and continued to shout threats, the police said. Video of the encounter shows Mr. Coley arguing with a woman in a hijab.
Attack on a ShopkeeperQueens
Sarker Haque, a shopkeeper in Queens, was repeatedly punched in the face on the night of Dec. 5, the police said, by a man who walked into his store and shouted, “I kill Muslims!” The New York Police Department said the attacker saw the shopkeeper reading a newspaper article about the San Bernardino attack shortly before he began punching him. Shoppers intervened, holding the attacker until the police arrived. “I was attacked because I was Muslim,” Mr. Haque told reporters after the assault.
Attack During PrayersAlameda County, Calif.
Denise Slader, an employee of the California Department of Corrections, was charged with two misdemeanors after she was caught on tape shouting anti-Muslim comments and beating a man she had seen praying in a park in the Bay Area. She faces one charge of battery and one charge of violating the civil rights of Rasheed al-Beshari, who began recording her on his cellphone after she started screaming at him and a group of friends who had been praying in Lake Chabot Regional Park. Ms. Slader also threw a cup of coffee on Mr. al-Beshari, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Fire Damages Somali RestaurantGrand Forks, N.D.
A Somali restaurant was struck by an arson attack on Dec. 8, three days after its walls were spray-painted with the words “go home,” according to the police. The attack caused $90,000 of damage to the business, Juba Coffee & Restaurant. Matthew Gust, 25, of East Grand Forks, N.D., was arrested Dec. 15 and charged with arson, according to the Grand Forks Police Department. The episode is being investigated by the F.B.I., according to a spokesman for its Minneapolis field office.
Every time an act of terror or shooting occurs, Muslims closely watch the news with extreme trepidation praying that the suspect is not Muslim. This is not because these terrorists are likely to be Muslim but rather because in the instances where they happen to be, we see amplified mass media coverage and extreme unjustified hatred towards Muslims.
As a Muslim, I am tired of condemning terrorist attacks being carried out by inherently violent people who hijack my religion. I am tired of condemning these attacks to people who are calm and apathetic when Muslims are killed by these same radicalized terrorists.
I am tired of hearing the word “terrorist” not being used when the suspect in a terrorist attack is a non-Muslim. I am tired of the “mentally disabled” excuse being recycled when the suspect in a terrorist attack is a Caucasian. I am tired of seeing hundreds of terrorist attacks carried out by non-Muslims not get the same coverage of even a single terrorist attack where the suspect happens to be Muslim.
Above it all, I am tired of having to repeatedly say that Muslims are not terrorists. It is time we silence this Islamophobia with facts. My next five points will prove once and for all that Muslims are not terrorists:
1. Non-Muslims make up the majority of terrorists in the United States:According to the FBI, 94% of terrorist attacks carried out in the United States from 1980 to 2005 have been by non-Muslims. This means that an American terrorist suspect is over nine times more likely to be a non-Muslim than a Muslim. According to this same report, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism in the United States than Islamic, yet when was the last time we heard about the threat of Jewish terrorism in the media? For the same exact reasons that we cannot blame the entire religion of Judaism or Christianity for the violent actions of those carrying out crimes under the names of these religions, we have absolutely no justifiable grounds to blame Muslims for terrorism.
2. Non-Muslims make up the majority of terrorists in Europe: There have been over one thousand terrorist attacks in Europe in the past five years. Take a guess at what percent of those terrorists were Muslim. Wrong, now guess again. It’s less than 2%.
3. Even if all terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims, you still could not associate terrorism with Islam: There have been 140,000 terror attacks committed worldwide since 1970. Even if Muslims carried out all of these attacks (which is an absurd assumption given the fact mentioned in my first point), those terrorists would represent less than 0.00009 percent of all Muslims. To put things into perspective, this means that you are more likely to be struck by lightening in your lifetime than a Muslim is likely to commit a terrorist attack during that same timespan.
4. If all Muslims are terrorists, then all Muslims are peacemakers: The same statistical assumptions being used to falsely portray Muslims as violent people can be used more accurately to portray Muslims as peaceful people. If all Muslims are terrorists because a single digit percentage of terrorists happen to be Muslim, then all Muslims are peacemakers because 5 out of the past 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners (42 percent) have been Muslims.
5. If you are scared of Muslims then you should also be scared of household furniture and toddlers: A study carried out by the University of North Carolina showed that less than 0.0002% of Americans killed since 9/11 were killed by Muslims. (Ironically, this study was done in Chapel Hill: the same place where a Caucasian non-Muslim killed three innocent Muslims as the mainstream media brushed this terrorist attack off as a parking dispute). Based on these numbers, and those of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the average American is more likely to be crushed to death by their couch or television than they are to be killed by a Muslim. As a matter of fact, Americans were more likely to be killed by a toddler in 2013 than they were by a so-called “Muslim terrorist”.
When a drunk driver causes a car accident, we never blame the car manufacturer for the violent actions of that driver. This is because we understand that we cannot blame an entire car company that produces millions of safe vehicles just because one of their cars was hijacked by a reckless person who used it to cause harm. So what right do we have to blame an entire religion of over 1.6 Billion peaceful people because of the actions of a relatively insignificant few?
I will not deny that terrorism is a real threat, it definitely is. However, it is extremely incorrect to associate the words “Muslim” and “terrorist” when literally all the facts implore you to do otherwise. The only way that we as Americans can defeat terrorism at home and across the world is by accurately targeting its root causes. There have been 355 mass shootings in the United States this year and falsely blaming Muslims for the San Bernardino shooting will do absolutely nothing to address this serious problem. It is time that we begin addressing terrorism on an educated and factual level.
As an American Muslim, I plead you all to deeply consider the facts mentioned here the next time you see a news headline about Muslims and terrorism. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”. We cannot allow the disparity in media coverage to blind us from the facts and turn us into hateful people, we are smarter than that.
Today I went & stood in front of Trump Tower & held a sign until the police came. Then I went home & wrote Donald a letter. Here it is:
Dear Donald Trump:
You may remember (you do, after all, have a “perfect memory!”), that we met back in November of 1998 in the green room of a talk show where we were both scheduled to appear one afternoon. But just before going on, I was pulled aside by a producer from the show who said that you were “nervous” about being on the set with me. She said you didn’t want to be “ripped apart” and you wanted to be reassured I wouldn’t “go after you.”
“Does he think I’m going to tackle him and put him in a choke hold?” I asked, bewildered.
“No,” the producer replied, “he just seems all jittery about you.”
“Huh. I’ve never met the guy. There’s no reason for him to be scared,” I said. “I really don’t know much about him other than he seems to like his name on stuff. I’ll talk to him if you want me to.”
And so, as you may remember, I did. I went up and introduced myself to you. “The producer says you’re worried I might say or do something to you during the show. Hey, no offense, but I barely know who you are. I’m from Michigan. Please don’t worry — we’re gonna get along just fine!”
You seemed relieved, then leaned in and said to me, “I just didn’t want any trouble out there and I just wanted to make sure that, you know, you and I got along. That you weren’t going to pick on me for something ridiculous.”
“Pick on” you? I thought, where are we, in 3rd grade? I was struck by how you, a self-described tough guy from Queens, seemed like such a fraidey-cat.
You and I went on to do the show. Nothing untoward happened between us. I didn’t pull on your hair, didn’t put gum on your seat. “What a wuss,” was all I remember thinking as I left the set.
And now, here we are in 2015 and, like many other angry white guys, you are frightened by a bogeyman who is out to get you. That bogeyman, in your mind, are all Muslims. Not just the ones who have killed, but ALL MUSLIMS.
Fortunately, Donald, you and your supporters no longer look like what America actually is today. We are not a country of angry white guys. Here’s a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: Eighty-one percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of color, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35. In other words, not you. And not the people who want you leading their country.
So, in desperation and insanity, you call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country. I was raised to believe that we are all each other’s brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else.
We are all Muslim.
Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between. We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota. If you don’t like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you’ve said.
And then leave the rest of us alone so we can elect a real president who is both compassionate and strong — at least strong enough not to be all whiny and scared of some guy in a ballcap from Michigan sitting next to him on a talk show couch. You’re not so tough, Donny, and I’m glad I got to see the real you up close and personal all those years ago.
We are all Muslim. Deal with it.
All my best,
P.S. I’m asking everyone who reads this letter to go here (http://michaelmoore.com/
P.P.S. – To sign my statement for #WeAreAllMuslim, go here on my website: http://michaelmoore.com/
What Really Happened to the Muslim Teen Who Died Last Week?
MUSLIM TEEN DIES AFTER BADLY BEATEN BODY IS THROWN OUT OF SIXTH FLOOR WINDOW
Hamza Warsame was a 16-year-old Somali American. He was loved and cherished by his teachers, friends, and family. An exceptional student, the Seattle high school student was already taking college courses as part of their state-run Running Start program. So it was a shock when Hamza was found dead this past weekend.
Hamza, a Muslim American, reportedly fell off a balcony near Seattle Central College where he was taking classes. The details are still murky, but Hamza’s family asserts that he was beaten and then pushed off the roof by another student, and that he did not fall or worse. Hamza’s 18-year-old sister, Ikram Warsame, insists he did not commit suicide, and tells The New York Times, “He was happy and content with his life — he was not suicidal, and he was not depressed.”
And thus, his death has unleashed outrage from the Muslim community in Seattle and from social media campaigns, like #Justice4Hamza, who are pressuring law enforcement to investigate the case like a hate crime and are calling out the media for the lack of coverage. Furthermore, the fact the King County Medical Examiner has yet to release an autopsy reportor announce the cause of death has provoked further speculation that Hamza’s death was the result of something sinister.
The suspicions of a hate crime does not come totally unwarranted. Since the Paris attacks, hate crimes against those of the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian community have escalated. Just recently, in New York City, a 6th grade girl in the Bronx was choked by three male classmatesas they pulled her headscarf and called her “ISIS.” And in another borough in New York, a store owner was beaten and traumatized by a man who was on a mission to “kill all Muslims.” Because of incidences like this and tons of anti-Muslim rhetoric from political leaders and candidates, like Donald Trump, Muslim parents are having conversations with their children about the dangers of just being open about their religion in America.
Now more than ever it’s imperative for teens and young adults to become alert about the rising racial and religious tensions in our everyday society. Though we don’t know what exactly happened to Hamza, recent incidents have taught us that the only way to beat bigotry is to join together as a community and demand justice.
Tom Brokaw blasts Donald Trump
This is one of the most powerful segments we've ever seen. Tom Brokaw compares Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from America to Japanese internment, Nazi Germany, McCarthyism, and Jim Crow - and he didn't stop there. This amazing video is well worth taking a moment to watch, via NBC NewsPosted by Media Matters for America on Tuesday, December 8, 2015
People, specially women, around the world are speaking up in support of Muslims. The woman in this particular video is from Britain and sends a strong message to non-muslim British. Take a look at the video and share your thoughts.
Ruhi Rahman, 23, says members of public on Newcastle Metro supported her and told abusive man to get off train
A Muslim woman has thanked the public for standing up to a man who racially abused her and her sister on a packed Newcastle train.
Ruhi Rahman, 23, said she was threatened when the abuser told other passengers she could bomb the train, as she sat with her sister.
Other passengers on the on the Tyne and Wear Metro carriage, including football fans in replica shirts, were “angels” Rahman said, and told the man to get off the train.
The incident on Saturday afternoon between Newcastle and Whitley Bay, which is under investigation, ended with passengers clapping as the man got off at the next station.
She said the man hurled anti-Muslim abuse at them, and said: “You’re bombing different countries and don’t deserve to be here or in this country.”
She said: “Before I even got a chance to react to his comments the women beside me supported me and helped. After a while most of the people on the Metro came over and spoke up for us and were being so supportive,” Rahman said, adding: “Also they even told the man to get off the Metro.”
She said it was “so sweet” to see how her fellow passengers on the Metro had supported her. “It really shows me how this world is full of such sweet people, and some dogs too,” Rahman said.
She said a woman beside her had started to cry “because she was so disgusted with his comments and she said no one should go though this” adding that “everyone also gave me a hug”. “It made me smile and appreciate how lovely they all were,” Rahman said.
She added: “I hope more people can not be so narrow-minded and realise how Islam should not be blamed for an individual’s act because Islam stands for peace not terrorism.”
In a separate post, she said the response from people had turned a negative “into something so positive”. She said: “I was so overwhelmed and still am with all your support.” She added: “Geordies are truly the best!”
Sharon Kelly, managing director of DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which operates the Metro on behalf of Nexus, said: “We urge anyone with information about this incident to contact the police.The safety of our passengers is paramount. Incidents of this nature are rare on Metro and they will not be tolerated.
“A police investigation is now under way and we will work with them to help trace the culprit. This will include reviewing any available CCTV footage.”
Insp Ian King, from Northumbria police’s Metro unit, said: “We have received a report of an alleged racist incident happening on a Metro train at around 4.45pm on Saturday. Northumbria police take a hard stance against any form of attack on any minority group or individual and officers will be investigating this report.”