On Friday, a man was arrested in El Paso after throwing two homemade bombs
into a mosque there. No one was hurt, but the head of a local Islamic
organization fears there is a growing trend of hate crimes against Muslims
in Texas.

At a Southeast Houston mosque, the men and women who pray there say peace
is the foundation of Islam. Some Muslims here say they are still victims of
hatred because their religion is often identified with terrorism.

Fatimah Bhutan says, “My children are always afraid. They’re afraid for me,
because they know that I’m very visible because of my scarf.”

She shares one recent incident after the anniversary of September 11. “We
had just walked out of the store and these guys in a pick-up truck said
rag-head, rag-head go home. We don’t want you here. My kids are like
where’s home? This is home. This is where they were born.”

Iesa Galloway calls it Islamophobia. “My concern is that this is an
apparent trend of hate crimes rising against the Muslim community.”

Galloway who is head of the local Council of American-Islamic Relations
points to recent incidents including one in Houston in July. A homemade
bomb exploded in the mailbox of a mosque. He is asking local leaders to
speak out against such acts. “If there’s a silence from the leadership of
the society, then it will only encourage and embolden people to continue
attacks against the community…


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