Mosques are being increasingly targeted after the Paris attacks. The Islamic religious places are being threatened and vandalized in America and Canada.
After the Paris attacks, which was the work of ISIS or Islamic State, vandals have targeted mosques in the U.S. and Canada. Terming it as hate crimes, the police have begun investigating these incidents. Recently, police in Austin, Texas, were called to check on vandalism at the Islamic center for Morning Prayer. There, they came across a Quran that was torn and strewn across the entrance of the Mosque. The holy book of Islam was also covered in excrement.
Faisal Naeem, a board member for the Islamic center, confirmed that nothing like this had ever occurred during the three and half years of the center’s existence, reported HNGN.
Stressing that the Paris attacks were the work of a few radical groups and certainly don’t represent the Muslim population across the world, Naeem said, “A few individuals who did what they did, they don’t represent 1.6 billion Muslims. They don’t represent me for sure and the Austin Muslim community.”
Meanwhile, threatening phone messages were left at the Islamic Society of Pinellas County in Pinellas Park, Florida, and the Islamic Society of St. Petersburg on Friday, reported USA Today. The suspect left a voicemail at the Pinellas Park mosque, threatening he was going to the center to “firebomb you and shoot whoever is there.”
The suspect said, “I’m taking the war to you and I’m going to have a big following” and added Friday’s attacks in Paris were “the last straw.”
The caller was apprehended after a short investigation and charged with using a telephone to make violent threats. FBI Tampa field office spokesman Dave Couvertier confirmed it was the same person who had made calls to the two mosques. However, Couvertier added that when investigators pursued the case, they found no evidence suggesting the suspect intended to carry out the threats.
“He didn’t have any actual plans to carry out acts of violence,” confirmed the spokesperson.
Community members who were informed about the threats are concerned that they might be subjected to such threats or acts of violence. However, in an act of solidarity, many citizens of varied faiths and religions poured in and left flowers and notes, showing they cared about their Muslim brothers and sisters. A young boy even broke his piggy bank to donate $20 to the center.
There has been a sharp increase in hate crimes against Muslims post the Paris attacks. Though ISIS, a gruesome terror organization has claimed responsibility, it is the innocent Muslims in America that are paying the price, said Ibrahim Hooper of the US-based Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR).
“The picture is getting increasingly bleak.”
In Canada, the situation is equally tense. A man was arrested in Quebec after releasing a video threatening to kill Muslims. Wearing a mask of face paint, he vowed to kill “one Arab per week,” reported BBC News. While this was just a threat, vandals started a fire at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association’s mosque in Peterborough, Ontario. Though the fire was minor and was extinguished before it could hurt anyone, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “deeply disturbed” by the hate crimes and promised that “Canada will make every effort to apprehend any perpetrator.”
The Paris attacks have had a deep impact on people and driven by hatred, and some individuals are vandalizing and threatening peaceful Muslims in America and Canada. The attacks on Mosques are totally uncalled for and the perpetrators need to be apprehended, indicated community members.
[Photo by Aamir Qureshi/Getty Images]