ISLAMOPHOBIA: PREJUDICE, RACIST, OR VIOLENT INCIDENTS AT MOSQUES - updated 6/5/13
Posted Jun 6, 2013

Mosques in U.S. That Have Experienced Violent, Prejudiced, or Racist Incidents

by Sheila Musaji


Mosques in the U.S. are becoming dangerous places.  Type MOSQUE in The American Muslim site search engine and you will turn up 234 entries.  I can’t help but think that the violent rhetoric of conservative and religious commentators in America has to be counted as at least partially responsible for what is going on. When people say that Arabs are sub-human or that Muslim leaders should be killed and Muslims all converted to Christianity, it cannot help but have some effect over time.  Ignorance and racism are a lot more powerful than people realize. throw in a bit of fear (talk about mosques needing surveillance, or being hotbeds of extremism), and even the most evolved of us may fall prey.  Much of this violence is the result of religiously motivated reprisals against the Muslim community in general for acts committed by particular individuals or organizations.

We have been collecting information about mosque incidents for some time, and here is our (partial) list.  If you know about other incidents, please contact us with the information.

MOSQUE OPPOSITION ACROSS THE COUNTRY

There have been regular objections to a local mosque being built or expanded.  Here are just a few cases of Islamophobic objections to the simple act of building or expanding a local mosque.

— Phoenix, AZ **— Lomita, CA ** — Santa Clara, CA **— Temecula, CA ** — Alpharetta, GA **  — Lilburn, GA ** — Margate, FL ** — Willowbrook, IL ** — Naperville, IL ** — Orland Park, IL ** — West Rogers Park, IL ** —  Palos Heights, IL **  — Florence, KY ** — Mayfield, KY ** — Boston, MA ** — Farmington, MI ** — Ypsilanti, MI ** — Warren, MI ** — St. Louis, MO ** — Bridgewater, NJ ** — Brooklyn, NY ** — Cordoba House/Park 51, NYC ** — Dayton, OH ** — Edmond, OK ** — Lebanon, PA ** — Murfreesboro, TN ** — Longview, TX ** — Sheboygan, WI ** — Madison, WI ** — Wilson, WI **— Waukesha, WI **  SEE ALSO:  - ACLU map of nationwide anti-Mosque activity ** - Battles across nation over proposed mosques ** - Opposition to Muslims and mosques grows in U.S. racist caldron, Ray Hanania ** - The politics of mosque building **

The PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life has now issued an interactive map Controversies Over Mosques and Islamic Centers Across the U.S. - This interactive map shows the locations of 53 proposed mosques and Islamic centers that have encountered community resistance in recent years. Click on a location for a brief overview of the project based on news reports. In many cases, the opposition has centered on neighbors’ concerns about traffic, noise, parking and property values - the same objections that often greet churches and other houses of worship as well as commercial construction projects. In some communities, however, opponents of mosques also have cited fears about Islam, sharia law and terrorism.

In the article Why is a mosque not like a church we noted that during July and August of 2012,  there were an unusual number of incidents at places of worship in the U.S.

—An Nur Islamic Center in Ontario, California had pig legs thrown on the sites driveways.  — Prayers at a Hayward, California Mosque were disrupted by teenagers throwing lemons and oranges, and shooting bb guns, and insulting worshippers.  Four teens were arrested.  — The College Preparatory School at the Lombard, Illinois Mosque was hit with an acid filled bottle thrown during Taraweh prayers.  —The Muslim Education Center Mosque in Morton Grove, Illinois had shots fired narrowly missing a security guard during Taraweh prayers when hundreds were inside praying. David Conrad has been arrested.  — Muslim gravestones at the Evergreen Park Cemetery near Chicago vandalized with anti-Muslim graffiti for the 6th time in 17 months. (update, the gravestones defaced again on 9/2/12 **)  — There was a second arson attack on the Joplin, Missouri mosque this summer. The first attempted arson was on July 4th, this time the entire mosque was engulfed in flames.  — Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Greek Catholic Church Arabic sign in New Hampshire vandalized — St. Ann’s Arabic Catholic Cathedral in Pottsville, Pennsylvania vandalized, American and Palestinian flags torn down.  — The North Smithfield Mo