Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anti-Muslim attacks in wake of 'Ground Zero mosque' controversy


Al-Iman mosque

NEW YORK - The desecration of a Queens mosque during Wednesday evening prayers is just the latest attack on Muslims or Islamic institutions. And at least some of them can be linked to the so-called Ground Zero mosque controversy.
Police say a drunken man entered the al-Iman mosque on Steinway Street in Queens, shouted anti-Muslim slurs, called the congregation terrorists and then urinated on a prayer rug.
This comes in the wake of an attack on a Muslim cab driver here.
The back of the driver's neck was slit by a passenger after he says the fare asked him if he was Muslim. When he said yes, the driver says, he was knifed.
Police are treating this incident as a bias crime - one that they say may be a reaction to the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero.
Also, recently, a mosque in California was vandalized and signs protesting the center were left behind.
The Council on American Islamic Relations is calling on political leaders to step up and condemn the attacks.
"Without a significant response by mainstream political leaders, this disturbing trend will only continue to grow," said CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali. "We ask that this incident be treated as a hate crime and that relevant charges be brought against the alleged perpetrator."

CUNY photo
Gary Baumgarten
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