A woman tells police she shoved a man to his death off a New York subway platform into the path of a train because she hates Muslims and thought he was one.
- A former Marine from Indiana admits that he broke into a mosque in Ohio and set fire to a prayer rug because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas.
- New York Times says the 9/11 attacks have led to what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all.
- In the spirit of interfaith, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a leading civil advocacy group holds its annual convention at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California amid fierce criticism of the church by Islamophobes
These episodes reflect the dilemma of the seven-million strong American Muslim community which remains under siege more than 11 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York Trade Center and Pentagon.
On December 29, the American Muslim community was shocked at the horrendous murder of Sunando Sen, who was pushed by a women to his death on the tracks of a New York subway station because she thought he was Muslim. “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,” Erika Menendez, 31, told police. She was charged with second degree murder as hate crime. India-born Sunando Sen was raised as Hindu. The murder of Sen at a New York Subway Station of Queens comes only weeks after Pamela Geller placed hate-ads targeting the Arab and Muslim community in subway stations across New York. One of the ads insinuated that Arab and Muslims are “savages” and another ad has an image of the World Trade Center exploding next to a quote from the Quran.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
A Canadian Islamic organization is accusing a Toronto-area Jewish day school of using a textbook that vilifies Muslims.
In a Nov. 19 letter to Jewish groups, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-CAN, charges that a textbook used at the Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School employs “inflammatory and hateful terms in describing Muslims.”
CAIR-CAN alleges the book, “2000 Years of Jewish History,” describes Muslims as “rabid fanatics” with “savage beginnings.”
“The entire chapter devoted to Islam presents a pernicious and extreme portrayal of Muslims and the Islamic faith. The material further denigrates the Prophet Muhammad as a ‘rabid Jew-hater,’ and falsely portrays Islam as inherently anti-Semitic and devoted to hating Jews,” the group said in its letter to the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center For Holocaust Studies and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA.
It said the text is used in grade 7 and 8 girls’ classes at the Orthodox Jewish day school and “leaves impressionable young Jewish readers with a sense of suspicion and even intolerance towards their fellow Canadians.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM HA’ARETZ
Geneva, Switzerland – The assassination of French Muslim and Christian military personnel and French Jewish civilians two weeks ago in Toulouse and Montauban has rocked France. Yet beyond the fears that this act has stirred among both French Jews and their Muslim compatriots, the desire for co-existence prevails.
Many of us European Jews, confronted with the horror of children being murdered at a Jewish school, were above all rendered speechless. Images of World War II came to mind – images of soldiers pointing their guns at women carrying their children.
However, this is something else. It appears the primary motivation of Mohammed Merah, the Frenchman who claimed responsibility for the attacks, was not anti-Semitism, given that his first victims were French soldiers, Muslims and Christians. And the reason Merah gave for the murder of these French Jewish children – the suffering of Palestinian children – may only hide a deeper reasoning for this barbaric act.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE TURKISH WEEKLY
New York City police are investigating as possible hate crimes a wave of firebombings that included a Islamic center, New York papers are reporting today. A bodega and two private homes also were targeted. No injuries were reported.
Update at 1:19 p.m. ET: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the violence, the Associated Press reports. “The four reported attacks on Sunday night go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Attacks such as this have no place in our open and inclusive society.” CAIR called on police and Muslim institutions to step up security measures around mosques. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the advocacy group, said CAIR recently called on the FBI to investigate threats targeting mosques posted on an anti-Islam blog called “Bare Naked Islam.” One comment on the site read: “Throw 10 Molotov cocktails into these mosques and burn them down,” Hooper says.
FULL ARTICLE FROM USA TODAY
by Daniel Tutt
As someone who works in the field of promoting interfaith dialogue on Islam in America, I can tell you it has been a hectic couple of weeks. When Lowe’s Home Improvement decided to pull its ads from TLC’s new reality show “All American Muslim,”they sparked a national crisis over Islamophobia in America. But crisis is the wrong word. I prefer opportunity. I say opportunity for two reasons.
One, the Lowe’s debacle has already proven that the Muslim community is well organized, ready to respond, and even able to lead a movement thatgarners support from acclaimed entertainers and public figures such as Sen. Ted Lieu and Russell Simmons. In fact, more than 32 congressional representatives have publicly called on Lowe’s to re-instate advertising on the TLC show.
Secondly, the controversy has shown that interfaith dialogue, relationship building between faith groups, and coalition building when there is no crisis, really does pay off. As Eboo Patel, author of “Acts of Faith,” has rightly pointed out, the future of religious pluralism will be decided by the success or failure of two groups: religious pluralists or religious totalitarians.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST
NEW YORK – Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by 50 per cent last year, skyrocketing over 2009 levels in a year marked by some vicious rhetoric of Islam-bashing politicians and activists, especially over the plan to build a mosque near the site of 9/11 attacks in New York, according to FBI statistics.
Although the national statistics compiled by the FBI each year are known to dramatically understate the real level of reported and unreported hate crimes, they do offer telling indications of some trends.
The latest statistics, showing a jump from 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2009 to 160 in 2010, seem to reflect a clear rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric from groups like Stop Islamisation of America. Much of that rhetoric was aimed at stopping the mosque in lower Manhattan.
At the same time, the new FBI statistics showed a rise of almost 11 per cent in hate crimes against immigrants from Latin America. The increase may be related to anti-immigrant rhetoric deployed as Arizona passed a harsh law targeting immigrants in 2010. Since then, even more anti-immigrant rhetoric has been heard around the country, suggesting that when the FBI’s 2011 statistics come out, they will show a further rise in anti-Latino hate crime.
Following months of denials, the FBI is now promising a “comprehensive review of all training and reference materials” after Danger Room revealed a series of Bureau presentations that tarred average Muslims as “radical” and “violent.”
But untangling the Islamophobic thread woven into the FBI’s counterterrorism training culture won’t be easy. In addition to inflammatory seminars which likened Islam to the Death Star and Mohammed to a “cult leader,” Danger Room has obtained more material showing just how wide the anti-Islam meme has spread throughout the Bureau.
The FBI library at Quantico currently stacks books from authors who claim that “Islam and democracy are totally incompatible.” The Bureau’s private intranet recently featured presentations that claimed to demonstrate the “inherently violent nature of Islam,” according to multiple sources. Earlier this year, the Bureau’s Washington Field Office welcomed a speaker who claimed Islamic law prevents Muslims from being truly loyal Americans. And as recently as last week, the online orientation material for the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces included claims that Sunni Islam seeks “domination of the world,” according to a law enforcement source.
FULL STORY FROM WIRED
It was a Tuesday evening in August 2010 when a 21-year-old art student from suburban New York hailed a taxi cab on a Manhattan street, carrying a couple of notebooks, an empty bottle of scotch and a folding knife. After asking the cabbie if he was a Muslim, the student, Michael Enright, muttered “consider this a checkpoint” before slashing at the driver’s neck and eventually fleeing through the car window.
The driver, Ahmed H. Sharif, survived with relatively minor injuries. Enright, who had actually visited Afghanistan earlier that year as part of a group aiming to promote interfaith dialogue, was arrested and charged with a hate crime.
The attack may well have been the most acute example of anti-Islamic sentiment last summer, but it was hardly the only one. For months, a debate raged over the plan to build an Islamic center within several blocks of the World Trade Center site – with critics weighing in from around the country, including some family members of 9/11 victims. In Florida, the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Quran if the proposed site wasn’t moved. (Efforts to block the center’s approval failed and Jones, though he backed away from his initial threat, went through with a Quran-burning in March after finding the Muslim holy book guilty of crimes against humanity in a televised “trial.”)
FULL ARTICLE FROM CBS NEWS
The FBI was teaching new recruits about Muslims with a PowerPoint presentation that recommended they read anti-Islam books, according to a grainy copy of the PowerPoint obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California chapter and the Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco-based civil rights group.
The two groups filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year inquiring about government surveillance of American Muslim communities. The 62-page document, first reported by the Danger Room, was designed to help agents perform “successful interviews/interrogations with individuals from the Middle East.”
Spencer Ackerman of the Danger Room says as recently as January 2009, the FBI thought its agents ought to know the following crucial information about Muslims: (1) They engage in a “circumcision ritual.” (2) More than 9,000 of them are in the U.S. military (3) Their religion “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM OPEDNEWS