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America/Islamophobia: Muslims' concerns grow

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  • Zafar Khan
    Muslims concerns grow Brad A. Greenberg, Staff Writer Article Display Date: 09/14/2005 07:02:00 PM http://www2.sbsun.com/news/ci_3026285 Last month, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2005
      Muslims' concerns grow
      Brad A. Greenberg, Staff Writer
      Article Display Date: 09/14/2005 07:02:00 PM


      Last month, the Islamic Center of Redlands reported
      that someone had poured beer into a car parked in its
      lot. The Ahlul-Beyt Mosque in Pomona was vandalized
      and burglarized in July. And in June, an Adelanto
      mosque suspiciously burned to the ground.

      "Three different cities in three different months -
      what I am calling for is the law enforcement to take
      these things seriously and not just brush it aside,"
      said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic
      Shura Council, which overseas 70 mosques and Muslim
      organizations. "Three incidences are more than enough
      for all of us to be cautious."

      FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said she could not
      comment about whether the three cases were related
      because the Federal Bureau of Investigations had not
      been notified of the Redlands and Pomona incidents.
      The FBI investigates possible hate crimes but only
      when contacted by local law enforcement or community

      "After Sept. 11, (2001,) we saw a rise in these types
      of incidents," Eimiller said. "Although we are not
      seeing that now, it is certainly a concern to us."

      Redlands police Capt. Tom Fitzmaurice said detectives
      are still investigating but do not have enough
      information to determine what happened.

      Fitzmaurice and city officials met Tuesday with
      Mohammad Hossain, director of the Islamic Center, to
      discuss problems local Muslims have had at the
      converted house in the 11200 block of Alabama Street.

      For two and a half years, Hossain said by phone,
      Muslims have been taunted with epithets and the center
      has been vandalized. On Aug. 19, a Muslim woman
      reported to police that someone had poured beer
      through the partially opened window of her vehicle.
      Hossain said that people attending a party across the
      street later shouted, "Terrorist! Terrorist!"

      Fitzmaurice said the Police Department had increased
      patrols around the Islamic Center. He declined to
      elaborate. Officers are encouraging the center's
      neighbors to report suspicious activity and control
      the behavior of people attending their parties, he

      The Redlands incident reportedly occurred less than a
      month after the Pomona mosque was vandalized in what
      detectives have labeled a "standard burglary," Sgt.
      Jed Blair said.

      Doors were torn from their hinges and smashed through.
      A coin-operated phone was ripped from the wall. Chairs
      were assembled around a television that had been
      dragged into the prayer room. A CD cover featuring a
      scantily clad woman was hung on a prayer poster.

      No suspects have been identified.

      On June 3, a mosque at a cemetery at the northernmost
      reach of Adelanto caught fire in the early morning and
      burned to the ground. It was the first fire at a
      Southern California mosque. The site had no gas or
      electrical connections.

      The fire is still being investigated as a possible
      hate crime, Eimiller said.

      "You got these three cases, but it doesn't really seem
      like we are getting to the bottom yet," said Salam
      Al-Marayati, executive director of the Los
      Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council.
      "Hopefully, in due time, we can."

      More about Islamophobia at:

      More about Islam and Muslims in America at:

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