Global Independent Analytics

After California shooting, fears of Muslim harassment rise

Rage against Muslims

Jonathan Lemire and Mike Balsano for Associated Press report: California is experiencing rage wave towards Muslims after deadly shooting in San Bernardino county.

Several Muslim temples in California have been desecrated by severed pig’s heads, broken windows and graffitied walls; these actions have been performed by vandals who activated after San Bernardino terrorist attack. It is believed that the recent anti-Muslim mutinies spread across the nation might be connected to latest mass shooting in California. Moreover, Republican presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, might have agitated people by their rabble-rousing rhetoric which implied that the Muslims are the root of all evil. Advocacy groups suppose that such backlash could lead to further aggravation and violence.

 Lemire and Balsano give a quote of Ibrahim Hooper, the leading spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic relations: "The spike began with the Paris attacks and has intensified with what happened in San Bernardino and now with what Donald Trump is proposing. I have never seen such fear and apprehension in the Muslim community, even after 9/11."

Although the F.B.I. is not going to reveal statistics on hate crimes until the beginning of 2016, it has been estimated by the Anti-Defamation League that since terroristic attacks in Paris in November almost 40 hate-related crimes with almost 130 dead have been committed. What is more, this amount includes only registered crimes. "We're talking at least three dozen that we're aware of and I'm sure there are many more incidents that haven't been reported. With legit terror attacks and the public discourse about them, it has created an atmosphere ripe for these types of stereotypes and incidents. People are exploiting them." Balsano and Lemire cite Oren Segal, the director of the ADL's Center on Extremism.

Republican presidential candidate immediately reacted on the incident: for instance, Donald Trump suggested barring Muslim immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S. This racist proposal stirred nationwide controversy. Other candidates such as Rick Santorum and Ben Carson suggested that no Muslim should ever become president and questioned Islam protection under U.S. Constitution.

Such aggravation became possible because of decades’ long Islam diminishing process. Hate crimes have been committed nationwide because of different reasons but still every Republican candidate feels obligated to blame Muslims on every crime and to announce that this nation is unwanted in America.

Since the mass shooting in California several incidents have been reported which include:

  • Offcut pig’s head in Philadelphia outside Al Aqsa Islamic Society. Police has not found yet any suspects;
  • Vandalism resulted in tens of broken windows in the Islamic Center of Palm Beach, Florida;
  • A message on St. Louis mosque answering machine, threatening to eliminate all Muslims, etc.

One particular case leaves it unclear, whether the suspects are driven with bigotry or something else: 55-year-old suspect threatened a Muslim clerk in Wal-Mart, shouted “I kill Muslims” and hit him in the eye. However, the suspect denied any religious influence on his crime. The suspect has been also arrested earlier, pulling his pants down in front of another Wal-Mart store.

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