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8 Attacks That Prove Islamophobia Is Up in The U.S.

8 Attacks That Prove Islamophobia Is Up in The U.S.

Eight attacks on Muslim and Sikh establishments in 11 days. Eight in 11 days. That means that every 1.5 days (more or less) mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, uncles, etc. somewhere in America suffer taunts, harrassment, vandalism, violence and — in the worst cases — death, simply because of their religion. What’s going on?!

Here are the basics as reported on Salon.com:

1. Morton Grove, IL
On August 10th, David Conrad, a non-Muslim American, shot an air rifle at a mosque next door to his house while 500 worshipers were inside. The reason? Apparently Conrad was irritated by the noise and traffic produced by the nightly events held during the holy month of Ramadan. No one was hurt, but the building did sustain damage.

2. Lombard, IL (25 miles from Morton Grove)
An unknown individual threw a “MacGyver bomb” — a mixture of cleaning solutions, acid, and aluminum foil — at an Islamic school window during a prayer service on August 12th. Worshippers reported hearing an explosion, but thankfully no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.

3. Joplin, MO
A mosque (and former church) that housed the Islamic Society of Joplin was completely destroyed by fire on August 6th. Arsonists previously attacked this same mosque on July 4th, but fortunately did not succeed in harming worshippers during either incident. The FBI is still investigating whether or not the August 6th incident was indeed arson.

4. North Smithfield, RI
A man head-butted, then tore down a sign outside of a mosque. Maybe not the brightest bulb, but a vandal’s still a vandal and definitely worthy of investigation, if not prosecution.

5. Hayward, CA
On August fourth, four teens threw lemons and oranges at a mosque during (surprise) a Ramadan prayer service. Mosque members said this is the fourth time they have been targeted during Ramadan. Vandals have stolen shoes, shot at worshippers with BB guns, and thrown eggs at mosque windows.

6. Oklahoma City, OK
A car pulled up to the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City in the middle of the night and unleashed a round of paintballs into the entryway. The resident imam said the attack sounded like actual gunfire and expressed concern for the larger than usual numbers of worshippers expected during Ramadan.

7. Ontario, CA
Muslims don’t eat pork. Two women who were presumably aware of this fact dumped pig legs on the site of a future mosque on August 7th and drove away. Perhaps they were just leaving an early housewarming present? Members of the Al-Nur Islamic Center were neither amused nor grateful.

8. Oak Creek, WI
Wade Michael Page opened fire at a Sikh temple, killing six people and injuring three others. As a reminder of the incident, surviving members of the gurdwara left a bullet hole in the door to their prayer space unrepaired.

Aside from the horrific shooting in Oak Creek and the Joplin fire, it may be tempting to think that the remainder of these events were relatively harmless. Being hit with lemons? Someone head-butting a sign? Definitely not worth the time of investigating. Not so. It’s not necessary to physically hurt someone to seriously threaten their security and freedom of expression. In fact, most of the attacks have been investigated as hate crimes by the FBI, which CNN reports has data showing crimes against Muslims rising in recent years.

Unfortunately, growing ire against Muslims and Middle Easterners is that not all that surprising. Think about the backlash surrounding the Park 51 site in New York or statements Republican Representative Joe Walsh — who represents Lombard, IL — made at a town hall meeting. From Salon.com:

Walsh sowed the seeds of mistrust and suspicion by alleging that “radical Islam” had made a home in the suburbs of Chicago; that “It’s in Elk Grove, It’s in Addison, It’s in Elgin. It’s here”; and that radical Muslims are trying to kill Americans every week.” Walsh’s warnings were met with applause.

Hmm. I’ve yet to hear about these radical Muslims supposedly wreaking havoc in suburban Illinois. What I have seen lately is story after story of people being senselessly tormented and killed simply because they are Muslim or otherwise associated with the Middle East. What year is it? Is this still where we are at as a country? If these were Catholic or Baptist churches under attack, I think Representative Walsh’s comments would read slightly differently and local communities would be a bit more incensed.

Out of curiosity, I did a quick Google news search of “Oak Creek Shooting,” an incident obviously involving Sikhs, and one for “Aurora Shooting,” the movie theater shooting in Colorado that wasn’t notably Muslim- or Middle East-related. Oak Creek had 18,000 related articles while Aurora had 56,400. Granted, this was completely informal and unscientific, but the difference in news hits begs a few questions. Do people care less when it’s Muslims being victimized? Are these attacks seen as some sort of redemption for 9/11? Is it fair to hold peaceful communities accountable for the actions of a radical few?

The U.S. has come a long way since the 18th century, and in many places diversity is being met with increasing tolerance and acceptance. Regardless of any progress, however, the recent attacks against Muslims and Sikhs proves there’s still hard work to be done to ensure that all communities enjoy the full extent of their freedoms of expression, speech and religion, not just those that fall into the accepted majority. A member of the mosque targeted in Hayward, CA said it best in her interview with KGO-TV:

Stop doing this because we’re a part of you. It doesn’t matter that we’re a different religion.

Do you agree?

Related Stories:

Bachmann Attacked Over Anti-Muslim Witch Hunt

Anti-Islam Teaching in U.S. Military to be Reviewed

Don’t Like Muslims? You Must Be A Fox News Viewer

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Photo Credit: Mario Piperni via Flickr

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108 comments

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9:59AM PST on Jan 1, 2013

Larry C. a lot of people confuse Muslims and Sikhs and some Sikhs were attacked and killed after September 11.

5:45AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

According to the FBI there are hardly any hate crimes against Muslims but about 10 times the number against Jews. Why is care2 not putting such stories up?

Why are there no stories about the recent attacks on Buddhists in Thailand or the Coptic Christians in Egypt? Or even of the ongoing rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas, an illegal terrorist organisation? Is there is a policy of Muslim only stories?

No-one is saying that attacks on Muslims is acceptable but there is no proportion on these stories and the greater abuses are ignored!

7:42AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

I don't agree with the teaching of Islam, or any religion. but those people are free to practice peacefully in this country without having to worry about their safety. everyone has the right to feel safe and feel that when their safety is jeopardized justice will be served. I feel for those who were killed or frightened. Now lets see if one day we can all be kind to one another?

8:17AM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

Recently looked at a map of europe early islamic picnic days... where the landscape was dotted with hundreds of battle sights before finally after hundreds of years of assault and occupation .. mo had to leave....and followed again by a small # of battles in previously christian middle east as they were pursued by "crusades"...
NOW..what were you saying about 8 "ATTACKS" ?.. especialy in America where jihadi camps are documented and boasted over in plain view across the country... the fact that these refresment centers are not cynderized long ago is baffling..
OH ya! .. then there's the "Riots" of post 911 mosque ..Americans.. ..Smoke much in those water pipes?

4:33AM PDT on Sep 16, 2012

Anytime anyone pokes the slightest criticism at the overwhelmingly hypersensitive followers of Islam, why must they act like a bunch of crybabies of a mob mentality, burning American embassies, sodomizing, torturing and killing innocent people? Why must I respect Islam or any other religious beliefs? I respect your right to have your religious beliefs. I respect your right to express them. I respect you so long as you respect me. I do not respect your “right” to tell me that I am an evil person. I do not respect your “right” to tell me that I am going to hell. I do not respect your “right” to impose your beliefs on me. I do not respect ignorance. I do not respect brainwashing. I do not respect cults. I do not respect hatred, bigotry, misogyny, sexism, or tyranny. I do not respect your religion and I don’t have to. And I'm not going to.

7:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

The author incorrectly included Sihk in this article! That is a totally different religion. And the author only cited 8 examples she thinks proves her case. She has totally ignored all the attempted attacks by bombing, foiled murder attempts, shootings and killings by muslims of innocent American soldiers and citizens such as Fort Hood, NYC subway and other US places. Islmophobia? NOT LIKELY! There is dam good reason for holding ALL muslims in the US under a strict watch and suspect! As to you RENE, who the frack do you think blew up the WTC? MUSLIMS! Who gunned down innocent US soldiers at Ft.Hood? A MUSLIM!
Who planted a truck to detonate in Times Square? A MUSLIM%

7:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

The author incorrectly included Sihk in this article! That is a totally different religion. And the author only cited 8 examples she thinks proves her case. She has totally ignored all the attempted attacks by bombing, foiled murder attempts, shootings and killings by muslims of innocent American soldiers and citizens such as Fort Hood, NYC subway and other US places. Islmophobia? NOT LIKELY! There is dam good reason for holding ALL muslims in the US under a strict watch and suspect! As to you RENE, who the frack do you think blew up the WTC? MUSLIMS! Who gunned down innocent US soldiers at Ft.Hood? A MUSLIM!
Who planted a truck to detonate in Times Square? A MUSLIM! Who planned to blow up an NYC subway at rush hour? MUSLIM AGAIN! What? You spent the last 11 years under a rock, deaf dumb and blind? And the list of foiled attempts and plans thwarted continues to grow! The threat is real. And I would not hesitate one bit to use deadly force if required against one of them attempting to bomb or kill my fellow Americans on our soil! No hatred involved. Just the termination of an enemy combatant.

7:03PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

There is no tolerance for muslims in this country. They have brought this upon themselves. Not a day goes by where some where in the world, muslims have slaughtered "non believers", killed innocent people by the dozens, executed, stoned or gang raped women to "protect their honor?" Muslims have been caught, arrested and tried on a repeated basis trying to bomb and kill Americans. Muslim men have killed more muslim women in this country then white Americans have! They repeatedly bomb and kill their own kind to demand an absolute bloodbath control over innocent people of all religions. There is NO REASON to afford them any shred of tolerance or rights in this country. We have seen t

7:03PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

There is no tolerance for muslims in this country. They have brought this upon themselves. Not a day goes by where some where in the world, muslims have slaughtered "non believers", killed innocent people by the dozens, executed, stoned or gang raped women to "protect their honor?" Muslims have been caught, arrested and tried on a repeated basis trying to bomb and kill Americans. Muslim men have killed more muslim women in this country then white Americans have! They repeatedly bomb and kill their own kind to demand an absolute bloodbath control over innocent people of all religions. There is NO REASON to afford them any shred of tolerance or rights in this country. We have seen the results of their so called "peaceful religion" in other countries that paid for it in the blood of their citizens.

3:55PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

They don't deserve our respect or compassion, and they reap what they sow with what passes for a shameful "religion". Mulism is a hateful practice and those who practice it should head back their own desert, forthwith. I'll be the first one the throw a lemon or leave them some pigs feet if I find them in my town.

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