This Week in Hate: Multiple incidents of hate against Muslims during Ramadan
In the month of May, we observed Islamophobic racist verbal assaults against community members and continued vandalism at Muslim places of worship during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
SAALT tracked 8 incidents of hate violence and 7 instances of xenophobic political rhetoric towards Muslims and those percieved as Muslim in the month of May, making it the second highest month for hate violence incidents in 2019. Of the 8 incidents, 2 were physical assaults, 4 included written/verbal assaults, and 4 vandalism/property damage.
- On May 5, 2019, Members of the North Austin Muslim Community Center found shattered glass across the floor of a Sunday school classroom. Someone had thrown rockas through two windows. It was the fourth act of vandalism against the mosque since last fall.
- On May 6, 2019, someone fired three shots into a Muslim family’s home, narrowly missing two members of the family inside. Family members say they may have been targeted because they displayed lights outside the house marking the month of Ramadan. Several family members also wear hijabs.
- On May 8, 2019, an anti-Muslim flyer that mocked and degraded Prophet Mohammed was put on car winshields in the parking lot of a Costco in Livonia, Michigan.
- On May 12, 2019 the Diyanet mosque in New Haven, Connecticut was intentionally set fire to, making it uninhabitable.
- On May 22, 2019 a man was charged with a hate crime after harassing two men outside of a Seattle mosque, screaming profanities and brandishing a large stick.
- On May 22 , 2019, a 17-year old Muslim woman was assaulted in Lincoln, Nebraska when two white men approached her, making derogatory comments before knocking her to the ground and kicking her. She suffered from cuts to her forearms, both sides of her face, and bruising on her lower leg.
- On May 27, 2019, a sign directing people on where to pray was defaced with obscene words and symbols at a Ramadan community event in Bastrop, Texas.
This level of amplified hate is a direct consequence of divisive rhetoric from political and community leaders and the discriminatory policies advanced by government institutions against our communities.
- On May 4, 2019, Bill Larion, part time surveyor for the city of Dearborn in Michigan, posted a comment on Facebook that a Muslim swimsuit model in Sports Illustrated is like a camel, a remark often used to demean Arabs and Muslims. “Cute picture,” Larion wrote. “Should be on the cover of camels are us.”
- On May 8, 2019 Alpha News labeled CAIR as “terror-linked”, and said: “CAIR, an unindicted terror co-conspirator in terror finance is holding another fundraiser featuring Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) despite her constant criticism of Jews and Israel.”
- On May 10, 2019 within hours of Omar Suleiman giving opening prayers at Congress, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of NYC tweeted: “Totally unacceptable that Nancy Pelosi had Omar Suleiman give the opening prayer yesterday in the House. He compares Israel to the Nazis and calls them terrorists, supports Muslim Brotherhood, incites violence calling for a Palestinian intifada and the end of Zionism…” he wrote in a tweet.
- On May 23, 2019, New Jersey State Senator Bob Smith (D-17) circulated an anti-Muslim flyer which called a Muslim leader and former Board of Education member “the leader of a radical group trying to take over our local government.”
- On May 30, 2019 a 12 year old boy told his father he has been called “terrorist, Taliban, Osama Bin Laden, bomber, killer, Allah Akbar, Muslims are terrorist, Muslims are bad” by school children in his middle school.
Since November 2016, we have documented over 484 incidents of hate violence and 252 incidents of xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab American communities around the country.
The recent cycle of vitriolic xenophobic, anti-black, and Islamophobic political rhetoric has fueled violence against our community members. Our communities continue to be targets of horrific incidents due to race and perceived religious identity.
Our religious institutions and community spaces continue to be targets of violence for white supremacists who seek to disrupt our safety and challenge our belonging. Before we begin to address solutions to combating hate violence we must heal as a community and protect those most vulnerable.
We are here to say that we belong, we demand safety, and we will remain vigilant as a community to hold our government accountable for fanning the flames of hate violence.