(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/18/2012) — A national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today issued a preliminary report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August following a massacre of Sikh worshippers in Oak Creek, Wis.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports that in the 13-day period between August 6 and August 18, there were eight incidents in which Muslim places of worship were targeted. As a comparison, in the first seven months of 2012 there were 10 such incidents.
CAIR’s report comes one day before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights plans to hold a hearing on hate crimes and domestic extremism. It comes just after a mosque in Virginia was vandalized in an apparent bias incident.
The controversy over the planned Park 51 community center in New York City is only one example of opposition to mosques and Islamic centers in the United States. Existing and proposed mosque sites across the country have been targeted for vandalism and other criminal acts, and there have been efforts to block or deny necessary zoning permits for the construction and expansion of other facilities.
By BETH FOUHY
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio on Tuesday called on his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate the development of a $100 million mosque being planned near ground zero. At a news conference, Lazio said he was concerned that not enough is known about the project’s funding sources and raised questions about its director, Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf. He noted that Rauf had recently refused to call the radical Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, and had said in a “60 Minutes” interview televised shortly after 9/11 that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”
By JILLIAN SCHARR
A majority of New Yorkers oppose plans to build a mosque and Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday. Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they did not want the mosque to be built at all, 31 percent are in favor of it, and 17 percent are undecided.
According to a new poll by Ifop, 41 percent of French people are opposed to new construction of mosques compared to 22 percent in 2001. In 1989, 38 percent of the French did not like to see a mosque near their residence; the percentage of those holding anti-mosque positions therefore appears to have fluctuated substantially in the past 20 years.
Across Europe, right-wing populist parties are gaining support by focusing on issues such as the construction of mosques. SPIEGEL ONLINE talks to right-wing populism expert Oliver Geden about the strategies used by the right and the pressure they put on the mainstream.