American Muslims Under Attack - Dar Al-Hijrah 3

Friday Prayer at the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va., this month. CreditMark Wilson/Getty Images

In the months since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, reports of attacks and threats against Muslims in the United States have surged, researchers and civil rights groups say.

According to a recent analysis based on reports from the news media and civil rights groups, the rate of suspected hate crimes against Muslims has tripled in the time since the attacks in Paris, with 38 attacks regarded as anti-Islamic. Here are some examples.

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    The word “Jesus” was spray-painted on an outer wall of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque in Hawthorne. CreditAhmadiyya Muslim Community, via Associated Press
    Mosques Vandalized with ‘Jesus’ Graffiti
    Hawthorne, Calif.

    Worshipers at two mosques arrived for prayers on Dec. 13 to find “Jesus” spray-painted on walls and, at one mosque, an object that appeared to be a hand grenade lying in the driveway (it turned out to be a plastic replica), according to Ahsan Khan, a mosque spokesman. A vandal spray-painted “Jesus is the way” on the walls of the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, the police said.

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    Vandalism in the parking lot of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Buena Park. CreditSikh Coalition
    Sikh Temple Vandalized
    Buena Park, Calif.

    Vandals struck a Sikh temple on Dec. 6, spray-painting expletive-laced graffiti that referred to Islam and to the Islamic State, the extremist group also known as ISIS and ISIL.

    “The graffiti had gang codes and a racial slur and profanity in reference to ISIS and Islam, which was misspelled,” said Jaspreet Singh, a board member of the temple, the Gurdwara Singh Sabha. Sikhs have been frequent targets of anti-Muslim attacks, even though Sikhism and Islam are distinct religions.

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    The lobby of the Islamic Center of Society of Coachella Valley this month. CreditDavid Martin/Associated Press
    Arson Suspected at Mosque
    Coachella, Calif.

    The authorities in California charged Carl James Dial, 23, with a hate crime, arson and burglary on Dec. 11 in connection with a fire that erupted in the Islamic Society of Coachella Valley shortly before a prayer service was scheduled to begin. No one was injured by the flames, which firefighters contained to the mosque lobby.

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    Surveillance footage of the robbery at Bottlenecks Food and Drink Shop in Grand Rapids. CreditGrand Rapids Police Deptartment
    Convenience Store Clerk Shot
    Grand Rapids, Mich.

    A convenience store worker was shot Dec. 15 by a man trying to rob the store who put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Inerjit Singh, who owns the shop, said the attacker had called the clerk a terrorist. “Then he put the gun in his mouth and said, ‘I killed guys like you in Iraq, so I never think about it when I shoot them anymore.’” The bullet passed through the man’s cheek, Mr. Singh said. “The shooter thought he was a Muslim,” he said, “but he is Sikh.”

  5. Man Killed After Threatening Muslims
    Norman, Okla.

    Police officers shot an Oklahoma man after he called 911 two days after the Paris attacks and said he was going to shoot Muslims as an act of revenge. “I’m dealing with some severe mental illness,” Mark James Riedel, 47, told the 911 operator, according to a recording of the call obtained by a local CBS affiliate. “And I’m going to go out there and just start shooting anything that looks like a Muslim after what they did to France.”

    Mr. Riedel emerged from his house with a pistol drawn and ignored commands to drop it, the police said in a statement.

  6. High-Powered Rifle Fired at Mosque
    Meriden, Conn.

    The federal authorities charged a man with “intentionally damaging religious property” after he used a high-powered rifle to fire several shots at a mosque next to his house in the early morning hours of Nov.14. The United States attorney for Connecticut, Deirdre M. Daly, said in a statement that Ted Hakey Jr. of Meriden had fired several rounds at the Baitul Aman Mosque. No one was inside at the time.

  7. Cab Driver Shot

    The police said a cab driver was shot in the back on Nov. 26 by a man they identified as Anthony Mohamed, who civil rights groups said had made anti-Muslim commentsand had demanded to know if the driver was from Pakistan. The driver has not been identified, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, said he was 38 years old and of Moroccan origin.

  8. Hate Crime Is Charged

    Dainton Coley, 34, a postal worker in Brooklyn, was charged with menacing as a hate crime after, the authorities say, he pushed and spat on a Muslim woman who was pushing a baby in a stroller in November, DNAInfo reported. Using a profanity, he told her, “I’m gonna burn your Muslim temple down,” according to the police. The woman, 30, was walking with her sister when the man came up from behind them. The women ran into a nearby store with the baby, but Mr. Coley followed them and continued to shout threats, the police said. Video of the encounter shows Mr. Coley arguing with a woman in a hijab.

  9. Attack on a Shopkeeper

    Sarker Haque, a shopkeeper in Queens, was repeatedly punched in the face on the night of Dec. 5, the police said, by a man who walked into his store and shouted, “I kill Muslims!” The New York Police Department said the attacker saw the shopkeeper reading a newspaper article about the San Bernardino attack shortly before he began punching him. Shoppers intervened, holding the attacker until the police arrived. “I was attacked because I was Muslim,” Mr. Haque told reporters after the assault.

  10. Attack During Prayers
    Alameda County, Calif.

    Denise Slader, an employee of the California Department of Corrections, was charged with two misdemeanors after she was caught on tape shouting anti-Muslim comments and beating a man she had seen praying in a park in the Bay Area. She faces one charge of battery and one charge of violating the civil rights of Rasheed al-Beshari, who began recording her on his cellphone after she started screaming at him and a group of friends who had been praying in Lake Chabot Regional Park. Ms. Slader also threw a cup of coffee on Mr. al-Beshari, according to The Los Angeles Times.

  11. Fire Damages Somali Restaurant
    Grand Forks, N.D.

    A Somali restaurant was struck by an arson attack on Dec. 8, three days after its walls were spray-painted with the words “go home,” according to the police. The attack caused $90,000 of damage to the business, Juba Coffee & Restaurant.Matthew Gust, 25, of East Grand Forks, N.D., was arrested Dec. 15 and charged with arson, according to the Grand Forks Police Department. The episode is being investigated by the F.B.I., according to a spokesman for its Minneapolis field office.

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