Muslim associations demand better protection for mosques after repeating assaults

August 24, 2014

A new episode of assaults against mosques has shocked Muslim communities last week in Germany. Furthermore, a Jewish synagogue was attacked in Wuppertal. A prayer room and samples of Koran books were burning in a mosque in Bielefeld. The next day, firefighters turned off fire in a new constructed mosque in Berlin. Perpetrators attacked again the mosque in Bielefeld burning Koran books. The police expects a political motivation for the recent assaults. Eight days ago, after the first assault, police authorities excluded every hint or suspicion regarding a xenophobic, political or religious motivation.

The chairman of the association ´League of Islamic communities in Bielefeld´ (BIG) Cemil   Şahinöz, showed had understanding for the hasty conclusions of the police. The goal of the perpetrators would be “maximal destruction”. The signs of the assaults would be evident. The mosque communities would be “deeply disappointed” by the lack of solidarity within German society. According to Şahinöz, racism would flourish when the majority of society would keep silent. The chairman of BIG called politicians and the public to break their silence.

The speaker of the coordination council of Muslims (KRM) Ali Kizilkaya called the society to stand united. Kizilkaya condemned the assaults against mosques asking security authorities to do everything possible to arrest the perpetrators and to protect the mosques. He regretted the low amount of solidarity with Muslims. Statement defining “Islam as part of Germany” would be meaningless without solidarity in such critical moments. Nevertheless Kizilkaya welcomed the visits Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) to the attacked and burned Mevlana mosque in Berlin.

During his visit at the Mevlana mosque, SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel condemned the assaults underlining that criticism against the terror organization ´Islamic State´ would not target Muslims and Islam. “Islam is a part of Germany” Gabriel repeated. The chairman of the the central council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek asked for more protection of mosques and called for a united society across Muslims and non-Muslims. Fazli Atin, president of the Islamic federation in Berlin, welcomed the visit of Gabriel as a clear sign for Muslims, showing that they would not be left alone with these assaults.

Hate Crimes in MA, NY Follow Boston Bombings

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said hate incidents in Massachusetts and New York occurred following the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

A Bangladeshi man was beaten at Applebee’s in ‘revenge attack’ over Boston Marathon bombings.  The man has claimed he was beaten at a New York City Applebee’s in retaliation for the Boston Marathon bombings – because of the color of his skin.

Abdullah Faruque, 30, says that he was heading out of the restaurant to smoke a cigarette when he noticed a group of Hispanic men who had been at the bar followed him out.

They then confronted him.

He said he was only beaten for a little over a minute, but he suffered a dislocated shoulder and was nearly knocked unconscious in the attack.

He told the Post that he knew he was outnumbered, and just did his best to protect himself.

He said it wasn’t until he got home when he turned on the TV and learned of the bloodbath in Boston.

NYPD: Suspects Savagely Attacked Elderly Man In Queens After Asking If He Was Muslim

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A brutal beating left a beloved grandfather in the hospital Friday night and police want to know if it was an act of hate.

The whole incident apparently started with a simple question and answer, but it ended with the victim bloody and bruised from head to toe. It happened just before 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 24 in Queens.

Ali Akmal laid in his hospital bed in critical condition with wounds and bruises covering most of his body.  The 72-year-old was savagely beaten after he went out for his early morning walk on 46 Avenue in Corona last Saturday.

They pretty much tried to kill him, with their hands, their own bare hands and maybe a bat, too. But they pretty much had the mentality that ‘Yeah we have to kill this person,’” the victim’s granddaughter told CBS 2′s Dick Brennan.

Akmal’s tongue was so badly swollen that he couldn’t talk for two days. When he finally could, he told police that when he first encountered the two men, they asked him, “are you Muslim or Hindu?”  He responded “I’m Muslim,” and that’s when they attacked.

“Just because we’re Muslim, just because we’re another religion or culture I don’t see why you have to beat that person up. They didn’t do anything to you, they didn’t hurt you,” the victim’s granddaughter said. The crime has been assigned to detectives with the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Toronto’s East End Madrassah School cleared of hate crime charges

News Agencies – November 9, 2012

A Toronto mosque that runs an Islamic school cleared of hate crimes charges this week said it was disappointed at the “rush to judgment and harsh comments” it faced over the controversy. “Our teachings embrace and celebrate the Canadian values of tolerance, understanding and harmony,” Aliraza Rajani, president of the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto said in a written statement.

The two-page statement did not address concerns raised by police that the investigation had identified teaching materials that, while not criminal, were produced in Iran, challenged core Canadian values and “suggested intolerance.”

The York Regional Police Hate Crimes Unit launched an investigation of the East End Madrassah, a school affiliated with the mosque, six months ago following complaints by
Jewish groups in Toronto.

Historical Events and Spaces of Hate: Hate Crimes against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America

Ilir Disha, James C. Cavendish and Ryan D. King

Social Problems
Vol. 58, No. 1 (February 2011), pp. 21-46
(article consists of 26 pages)

This research investigates variation in hate crime offending against Arabs and Muslims across U.S. counties in the months before and after September 11, 2001. Four questions are of particular interest. First, what were the determinants of anti-Arab and Muslim hate crimes prior to 9/11? Second, in what social contexts were Arabs and Muslims at greatest risk of victimization? Third, to what extent did hate crimes against these groups increase after the terrorist attacks? And last, did the predictors of hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims change appreciably after 9/11? Findings show that hate crimes targeting Arabs and Muslims increased dramatically in the months following 9/11, although the structural determinants and geographic concentration of these crimes remained largely consistent after the attacks. Negative binomial regression results further suggest that counties with larger concentrations of Arabs and Muslims have higher incidents of such hate crimes, which likely reflects the availability of targets for this type of offending. At the same time, the likelihood of victimization for a given Arab or Muslim person is lowest in counties where the percent Arab or percent Muslim is highest, in line with a power-differential perspective on discrimination and intergroup violence. The findings imply that terrorist attacks may indeed incite retaliation and set off a wave of hate crime offending, but the location of these crimes is likely to remain consistent after a galvanizing event.

StatsCan Notes Decline in Hate Crimes Against Arabs and West Asians in 2007

The Canadian Statistical Agency, Statistics Canada has released data which claims that police services reported 785 crimes that were motivated by hate in 2007, down from 892 in 2006.

Statistics Canada says race or ethnicity continues to be the most common motivation for reported hate crimes. There were 185 religiously-motivated incidents in 2007, down from 220 in 2006. There were fewer incidents targeting Jews and Muslims. Incidents against Jews continued to account for about two-thirds of all hate crimes motivated by religion.

Hate Crimes Soar In Wake Of Bombings

By ANWIL DAWAR in London RELIGIOUS hate crimes have soared by almost 600 per cent in London since the July 7 bombings, it was revealed yesterday. Scotland Yard figures show 269 crimes, motivated by religious hatred, have been reported since the suicide attacks. That compared with only 40 in the same 3 1/2 week period last year. The figures include minor assaults, abuse in the street and by email and criminal damage to property, including mosques. In the three days after the bomb attacks, there were 68 such crimes in the capital compared to none in the same period 12 months ago. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said most of the incidents were minor, but had a great “emotional impact” on communities. “It can lead to these communities retreating and not engaging at a time when we want their engagement and support,” he said. Police officers have stepped up patrols and are working with community groups to reassure Muslims. It is not thought the incidents are part of a concerted campaign. Finsbury Park mosque, which has made a break from its associations with such radical clerics as Abu Hamza, has received more than 30 threatening phone calls in a fortnight. The first place of worship to be attacked after the bombings was a Sikh temple in Erith, south east London. Jagtar Singh of the Sikh Federation said: “We have had numerous reports of race-hate crimes targeting Sikh taxi drivers, bus drivers and even tube workers who interact with the public in providing essential services.” Police, in general, have been praised by Muslim groups for their attempts to stop any racist backlash and protect Asian communities following the bombings. Officers are having to deal with the difficult task of defeating terrorism while, at the same time, facing accusations young Muslims are being targeted in stop-and search operations. Home Office Minister Hazel Blears has said Muslims would not be discriminated against by police in the battle against terrorism. She insisted officers’ actions would be “intelligence led”. British police yesterday released another man who was detained in connection with the failed July 21 bomb attacks on London’s transit system. A police spokesman said officers were continuing to question 16 suspects. Of the 37 people detained over the attempt to set off bombs on three subway trains and a double-decker bus, 21 no longer were being held. British authorities say those still in custody include three of the failed bombers. They are trying to extradite the fourth suspected attacker, Hamdi Issac, from Italy, but his lawyer said Italian investigations could delay any extradition to Britain.

Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes On Rise In Us: Study

Hate crimes against Muslims soared in the United States last year, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations released Wednesday. The number of hate crimes against members of the Muslim community jumped 52 per cent last year, from 93 incidents in 2003 to 141 in 2004. And the number of violent acts, discriminatory incidents and cases of harassment against Muslims rose 49 per cent between 2003 and 2004, to 1,522. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad called the figures alarming and urged President George W Bush-‘whose statements after the (September 11, 2001) attacks were so important in helping to protect the well-being of the American Muslim community-to once again speak out against Islam phobic attitudes.’ The Annual Report Noted That Workplace Discrimination Against Muslims Was Less prevalent, while incidents involving police were on the rise, in the form of unjustified arrests and searches and abusive interrogations. Among the factors contributing to the rise in incidents, CAIR said, were the ‘lingering impact’ of fears following the September 11 attacks, heightened awareness of civil rights issues within the Muslim community and a ‘general increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric.’ ‘These disturbing figures come as no surprise given growing Islam phobic sentiments and a general misperception of Islam and Muslims,’ CAIR’s legal director, Arsalan Iftikhar, who authored the report, said in a statement.