Anti-Muslim Bigotry Rises Alongside Hateful Rhetoric

Anti-Muslim Bigotry Rises Alongside Hateful Rhetoric

By Brenda Abdelall, Charities Program Director, Muslim Advocates

**We are updating this post regularly with new incidents. This post is current as of Nov. 30, 2015.**

In the wake of the Paris attacks, hate crimes against American Muslims continue to increase at a disturbing rate. Many of you have shared news about incidents of anti-Muslim bigotry and hate across the country. These incidents occur in an “open season” to attack American Muslims, created in part by xenophobic and divisive rhetoric from public officials and other public figures. False claims and inflammatory rhetoric have real-life consequences; this can be seen in the list of anti-Muslim incidents we share below.

Muslim Advocates is working tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of the American Muslim community. Those who attack American Muslims are attacking the fundamental religious liberties that our country was built upon. We are working to ensure that those who commit crimes against American Muslims or their religious institutions are held accountable. We also continue to urge the White House and other administration officials to reaffirm that no American should be subject to violence or threats of violence because of religion, race, or national origin.

Reporting Hate Crimes in Your State:

If you or someone you know has been harassed, assaulted or threatened with harm, it is crucial that you report such acts and threats of violence to law enforcement. If you have an incident to report, please reach out to Madihha Ahussain at [email protected] and 415-692-4932 or use the hate crime reporting resources below. Muslim Advocates has compiled important resources to assist community members with reporting hate crimes. Please share these resources widely with your networks. Click here to report hate crimes in your state.

Mosque and Institutional Security:

It is also critical to take precautions to keep our community institutions safe and secure. Please take a look at our portal of online resources to keep your community safe. Click here for resources for mosque and institutional security.

Select Anti-Muslim Threats, Shootings and Vandalisms Post-Paris Attacks

Last updated November 30, 2015

11/13/15 San Diego, CA A pregnant Muslim woman is attacked with her child in her stroller by a known suspect. No suspect; still under investigation.
11/14/15 Dearborn, MI A woman on social media notes that Dearborn has the highest Muslim population and calls for others to rally and “Let’s f— that place up.” Suspect identified; no charges.
11/14/15 Storrs, CT Muslim student dorm room door vandalized with the words “killed Paris” underneath his name. No suspect; still under investigation.
11/14/15 St. Petersburg, FL Two Islamic centers received voicemail threats to firebomb and shoot Muslims. Suspect identified and charged with “telephonic threat to kill, injure, or intimidate using fire or an explosive.”
11/15/15 Meriden, CT An Islamic center is found riddled with bullets some penetrating through the entire building. Suspect identified; still under investigation.
11/16/15 Orlando, FL An American Muslim family finds bullet holes in their home including one bullet that penetrated the garage and entered a bedroom. No suspect; still under investigation.
11/16/15 Charlotte, NC Uber driver beaten and threatened by passenger who thought he was Muslim. Suspect identified; Uber suspends driver account; no charges yet.
11/16/15 Norman, OK A man calls 911 twice threatening to kill anyone who “looks like a Muslim” is then shot by police. Suspect John Reidel charged with three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of planning, attempting or conspiring to perform an act of violence and a misdemeanor count of carrying a firearm while under the influence.
11/16/15 Fort Bend, TX A man posted images on social networks with an assault rifle and ammunition threatening to ‘shoot up a mosque.’ Suspect arrested for “making a terroristic threat.”
11/16/15 Pflugerville, TX Islamic center was vandalized with feces and pages were torn from the Quran. No suspect; still under investigation.
11/16/15 Omaha, NE An Islamic center is vandalized with symbols of Paris. This is the fourth time this mosque has been vandalized this year. No suspect; still under investigation.
11/16/15 Cincinnati, OH Muslim with hijab shouted at and nearly run over; reports of another Muslim woman spat on and another woman assaulted in parking lot. No suspects; still under investigation.
11/17/15 Baltimore, MD Four Muslim men were removed from a flight taking off from BWI airport. Passengers reported “suspicious activity.” Turns out the passengers were reading the news.  
11/18/15 Phoenix, AZ Jon Ritzheimer, self-proclaimed leader of AZ Anti-Islam movement, posts a video threatening the writers at the Islamic Post with his weapon. Incident reported; under investigation, current FBI search for Ritzheimer.
11/19/15 San Diego, CA A Muslim student at San Diego State University was pushed by a man who also pulled her by her headscarf while making hate-related comments and threats based on her religion. No suspect; sketch identified; still under investigation.
11/19/15 Corpus Christi, TX A mosque receives hate mail stating, “Convert to Christianity Before It’s Too Late.” No suspect; still under investigation.
11/19/15 Falls Church, VA A mosque finds a fake explosive device on their premises. Suspect identified, Chester Gore; charged with “using a hoax explosive device and entering a property to cause damage based on religious conviction.”
11/20/15 Brooklyn, NY Two Muslim women harassed by a U.S. postal worker who shouted obscenities and followed them into a store. Suspect also threatened to “burn your f*cking temple.” Suspect identified and charged with “acting in a manner injurious to a child, harassment and menacing as a hate crime.”
11/20/15 Chicago, IL Two Palestinian Americans are prevented from boarding flight because speaking Arabic.  
11/20/15 San Antonio, TX Man enters mosque shouts profanities and desecrates prayer rugs with shoes. Suspect identified; charged with “criminal trespassing.”
11/21/15 Irving, TX Armed protesters gather outside mosque in Irving, Texas intending to “show force.” No arrests or charges.
11/24/15 Newark, NJ An American Muslim woman is removed from an international flight because of her religion.  
11/25/15 Hudson County, NJ A police officer is under investigation for posting a hate-filled rant against Muslims. He says, “Sh*t on the mosques, tear them all down” among other profanities. Police officer under investigation; no charges.
11/25/15 Irving, TX Anti-Muslim group publishes names and addresses of American Muslim community members. The Facebook post claimed to list “Every Muslim and Muslim Sympathizer that stood up for sharia tribunals in Irving, TX.” Page has been taken down. No arrests or charges.
11/26/15 Pittsburgh, PA An American Muslim taxi driver is shot at by a passenger. The passenger at drop off entered his home, and returned with a rifle and began to shoot at the car driving away, with one shot that struck the driver. No arrests or charges.
11/27/15 Lexington, KY The Islamic Center of Lexington receives an email threatening to kill everyone inside. The threat said, “I’m going to kill everyone I (sic) there you Muslim f**ks. Salabis is coming for you.” No arrests or charges. Suspect left a name.
11/28/15 Phoenix, AZ The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix had its website hacked, with the words, “Vive le France.” No suspects, arrests or charges.