(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/7/2015) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released a new brief, called “Toxic Hate,” indicating that the backlash against this nation’s Muslim community since Daesh (also known as ISIS) murdered two Americans in Syria last August has a “more violent tone” than past spikes in Islamophobic sentiment.
The CAIR brief outlines incidents of violence and threats targeting individual Muslims, threats against groups of Muslims and threats and violence targeting Islamic houses of worship and institutions. It also includes a section on the recent phenomenon of armed anti-Islam demonstrations.
The brief reports in part:
“After Daesh murdered two Americans in late August 2014, Americans of all backgrounds, Muslims included, responded with rejection and revulsion. Despite abundant evidence that Daesh was slaughtering Muslims who disagree with them in great numbers, some in our country blamed all followers of Islam for the group’s actions.
“When the Kouachi brothers attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris on January 7, 2015, this effect was magnified.
“CAIR has in the past observed that Islamophobia in America goes through cycles of intensity. The 2010 controversy over a planned Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan was the last observed peak in anti-Islam activity. It was characterized by efforts to oppose the construction or expansion of Islamic places of worship across the nation. This latest cycle has had a more violent tone. “
Violent incidents outlined in CAIR’s brief include the case of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, who were murdered in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Feb. 10, 2015 and the murder of 15-year-old Abdisamad “Adam” Sheikh-Hussein outside a Kansas City mosque. The teenager’s legs were severed when he was intentionally hit by an SUV which once had writing on the back window that read: “Quran is a virus disease woreste [sic] than Ebola.”
Another case outlined in the brief was that of Robert Doggart, a former candidate for congressional office in Tennessee, who signed a plea agreement admitting his plot to assault the Muslim community of Islamberg in New York.
Doggart said, “we're gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with 3 extra magazines and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.” While Doggart’s preparation for the attack fits the definition for a terrorist act, he was released to home detention on a $30,000 bond.
CAIR’s brief also offers some hopeful notes, including:
“After the armed anti-Islam demonstration in Phoenix, Ariz., more than 200 people gathered at the mosque for a ‘love not hate’ event. In contrast to the demonstrator’s firearms, the love not hate event organizers asked attendees to ‘bring a FLOWER as a symbol of love and care. We are better together, and together we are strong.’
SEE: Toxic Hate
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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