Islamophobia grows louder in North Carolina: ‘Can we not kill them all?

The meeting of a far-right group in Kernersville has stirred fears across the state as Muslim leaders call on authorities to take action


Tom Jones, a soft-spoken man with white hair and wearing a slate-gray jacket, held up a copy of The Terrorist Next Door by the conservative author Erick Stakelbeck in the private dining room of a seafood restaurant in Kernersville, North Carolina, on a recent Thursday evening.

The presentation marked a coming-out of sorts for Jones, who had announced the event a month earlier at a regular weekly luncheon in nearby Winston-Salem that features different conservative speakers and Republican elected officials. About 20 people attended, representing professional conservative activists, GOP volunteers and militia types.

Reading from the text, Jones recited to about 20 of his fellow hard-right activists: “Brotherhood-linked organizations are establishing networks throughout the Bible belt.” Turning his head from right to left, he paused for dramatic effect and remarked: “I think that’s where we live.”

The Muslim Brotherhood, a culturally conservative organization founded in 1928 that briefly took power in Egypt after the Arab Spring, is the focal point of paranoid rightwing fears about a supposed Islamic plot to infiltrate and subvert American institutions from within and impose sharia law.

“A tactic that the Brotherhood has established over the years is establishing the presence of Islamic centers or mosques, which for them means a recruitment center for jihad, and forming a permanent foundation wherever they’re allowed to exist,” Jones said, continuing to read from Stakelbeck’s book.

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Al-Azhar sheikh calls for action on Islamophobia at Cairo inter-faith conference


The head of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, called on religious institutions in the East and West to act against Islamophobia, telling faith leaders at a Cairo conference that Islam “is not the reason for wars.”
El-Tayyeb was giving a speech to a conference on international freedom and citizenship in Cairo on Tuesday which is being attended by religious representatives from 50 countries.
El-Tayyeb argued that there are “obvious double standards” when dealing with violence committed in the name of Islam compared with that of other religions.
“It is very sad how a misguided group have strayed from the true principles of the religion and is mobilising the whole world against Islam,” El-Tayyeb said, arguing that if religious institutions around the world did not collaborate to act against Islamophobia, Christianity and Judaism would in the future face the same prejudice.
He also told leaders that absolving religions of any connection with terrorism would not be sufficient, and that religious institutions must deploy the principles and morals of religions to face the deteriorating situation of the world.
El-Tayyeb said that Al-Azhar avoids using the terms “minority” and “minorities” and instead prefers to spread the concept of “citizenship”, which he said was a principle applied by Prophet Muhammad in the city of Medina, the site of the first Muslim community.
The conference, which is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, will also see the participation of the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II.
At the end of his speech, El-Tayyeb praised Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, under whose auspices the conference was held, for holding the conference at such a critical time.

Hate In America: Tampa Mosque Attacked By Fire, Bullet Holes, Confirmed As Arson Attack On Muslims


A fire started at a central Florida mosque early Friday morning was arson, local officials have confirmed. One of the side doors of the Islamic Society of New Tampa was found with bullet holes, with a rope pushed through to start the fire, according to a regular visitor who arrived at the mosque after hearing there was a fire.

Hillsborough Country Fire Rescue later confirmed that the incident had been ruled as arson.

Arshadd Malik, who described the scene, said he was pretty shaken up to have such an incident happen at a place of prayer.

“I am so upset about it,” he told CBS8. “This is a place of worship to God. You are trying to burn down a place of worship? Is this the tolerance that we have?”

“We are here to practice just whatever we want. Right? So you cannot hate people like that. Hating me? Hating God? Is this what the USA is? Is this what our constitution tells you?”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals or persons responsible for the fire. The Florida chapter of the civil rights group said that the incident was a “heinous act of terror.”

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UC Davis Police Investigating Hate Crime After Muslim Finds Pork On Door Step


Police in Davis are investigating another hate incident targeting the city’s Muslim community.

The UC Davis Police Department says that overnight Friday into Saturday, someone left a package of pork tenderloins on the doorstep of an apartment on Orchard Park Drive, off of Russell Boulevard.

Officers say the residents of the apartment are Muslim. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime because of pork being a prohibited food for people of the Muslim faith.

No suspects have been identified so far, police say.

The incident comes after a series of hate crimes against Muslims around the area. In January, a woman was caught on camera smashing the windows at the Islamic Center of Davis. She also left bacon on a door handle. She has not been identified, but authorities did raid a home last week connected to the investigation.

Earlier in February, a Roseville Islamic center was the target of vandals. Much of the building was left defaced with hate speech aimed at Muslims. No suspects have been identified in this incident either.

Four Mosques Have Burned In Seven Weeks — Leaving Many Muslims and Advocates Stunned

“The short answer is we haven’t seen anything like this in the past.”


On January 7, the Islamic Center of Lake Travis, in Austin, Texas, which had been under construction, caught on fire. A week later, on January 14, the Islamic Center of Eastside, in Bellevue, Washington, burned.

Two weeks after that, on January 27, several hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, a fire destroyed the Islamic Center of Victoria, in Texas.

Then, this past Friday, February 24, a small blaze broke out at the front entrance of the Daarus Salaam Mosque, near Tampa, Florida.

Authorities have ruled that three of the four fires were caused by arson. An official at the Travis County Fire Marshal told BuzzFeed News that the investigation into the cause of the fire at the Islamic Center of Lake Travis remains open.
“We’ve never seen four mosques burned within seven weeks of each other,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups around the country. “It’s part of a whole series of dramatic attacks on Muslims.”

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Arsonist Destroys Texas Mosque, Reward Offered

Investigators now say an arsonist set fire to Texas mosque, but they stop short of labeling the fire a hate crime.


A fire that destroyed a mosque in a small Texas community in late January was deliberately set, investigators say.

The Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas, 125 miles southwest of Houston, was burned in the early morning hours of Jan. 28. When fire crews arrived, they found “the mosque completely consumed in flames,” Battalion Chief Jeff Cowan told the Victoria Advocate.

After watching firefighters battle the blaze, some of the 140 members of the mosque prayed on a sidewalk across the street. Shahid Hashmi, president of the center, said the mosque had hosted dinner only hours before.

After the fire, local churches and the town’s only synagogue offered to share their space for members of the mosque to worship. Community members raised more than $1 million in four hours to fund a rebuilding effort, posting signs that said, “We Love Our Muslim Neighbors” and “Love is Greater Than Hate.”

A $30,000 reward has been offered and investigators are not yet calling the incident a hate crime. The Victoria newspaper reported that in July 2013 a man admitted spray painting “H8” on the outside of the mosque,

Fred Milanowski, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent in charge, told the Houston Chronicle that “houses of worship are a sacred place in this country,” and that the ATF was devoting serious resources to the case.

Hashmi said his congregation already has forgiven the arsonist, but “there is no way we will be able to ever forget.”

“The law will take care of the punishment,” Hashmi said. “We have nothing to do with that.”

Muslim business owner claims vandalism hasn’t stopped in Pahrump

PAHRUMP (KTNV) – A Pahrump man whose business was vandalized in July said he is still being targeted.

Vic Ahmed is an Indian Muslim who moved to the U.S. in the 1970s and has since become a U.S. citizen.

In July, Ahmed’s car repair shop was spray painted with derogatory words against his religion.

“I am a legal citizen and there is no earthly reason why I should be treated as a second class citizen or whatever,” Ahmed said.

He claims the same person who committed the crime is still consistently targeting him. He said the constant harassment has caused him so much stress that he now has to shut down his business.

“I just want this guy put away,” Ahmed said.

He says police reports don’t classify the vandalism as a hate crime, even though officials said they were investigating it as such.

Nye County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Boruchowitz says the case is still an open investigation and can’t officially be classified as a hate crime until someone is charged.

“As of right now we don’t have a lot of leads,” he said. “Unfortunately in this business, we run across this more than we would like, but as soon as we have anything to work on certainly we will prosecute them.”

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate.