Imam’s wife assaulted at Maryland Mosque
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on national political and religious leaders to repudiate Islamophobic rhetoric following another in a series of attacks on American Muslim institutions, businesses and individuals.
The latest incident involved an assault on the wife of the Imam, or religious leader, of the Islamic Society of Annapolis in Annapolis, Md. The woman, who was wearing an Islamic head scarf, was hit by a bottle this morning as she left the mosque. The assailant allegedly shouted something unintelligible at the victim before fleeing into a nearby office. CAIR is calling on law enforcement authorities to investigate the attack as a possible hate crime.
In a similar incident on Tuesday, the owner of a jewelry kiosk at a Tampa mall who also wears an Islamic head scarf, says she was verbally and physically assaulted by three people who told her to “get out of (America)” and said her religion is “hateful and violent.” The assailants allegedly blamed the woman for the recent Madrid train bombings.
In Texas, CAIR’s San Antonio office held a news conference on Wednesday to express community concerns about arson attacks on three local Muslim businesses.
Last month, vandals wrote “sand n**gers” and “America rocks b*tch” on the interior walls of the Islamic Center of the South Plains in Lubbock, Texas. They also broke windows and damaged, destroyed or removed other items in the mosque.
Many Muslims believe the rise in such incidents can be tied to the anti-Muslim rhetoric used by some conservative commentators, particularly radio talk show hosts. CAIR has received a number of reports in recent weeks of hosts using terms such as “rag heads” when referring to Muslims and painting Islam as inherently violent. Some even implicitly endorse violence against Muslims.
On Thursday of last week, WMAL host Michael Graham in Washington, D.C., said: “I don’t wanna say we should kill ’em all [Muslims], but unless there’s reform [within Islam], there aren’t a lot of other solutions that work in the ground struggle for survival.”
Last month, A Los Angeles, Calif., radio station was forced to issued an on-air apology for an Islamophobic skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, avoid bathing and are obsessed with killing Jews.
“Healthy public debate on all issues should be encouraged, but when that debate crosses the line into incitement and hate-mongering, it harms our nation and must be challenged,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. Awad said silence on the part of mainstream political and religious leaders only encourages the hate-mongers.
A CAIR “Muslim Community Safety Kit” booklet, designed to help local Islamic leaders protect institutions and individuals, may be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-488-8787.