Anti-Muslim posters found on 3 buildings, utility pole at UT

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Posters criticizing immigrants, minorities and Muslims were discovered Monday on three buildings and at least one utility pole at the University of Texas.
One of the posters, on a pole along San Jacinto Boulevard just north of 23rd Street, implored people to “imagine a Muslim-free America.” A graduate student in history photographed it and posted the photo on Twitter, adding the question “Hate speech or free speech?”

UT spokesman J.B. Bird said university staff members discovered posters on the outside of the Student Activity Center, the College of Liberal Arts and the Sanchez Building. He said they contained “political messages” aimed at immigrants, minorities and Muslims.

“The signs, some of which were affixed with adhesive, are in the process of being removed. They’re very hard to get off,” Bird said.

“The university vigorously supports free speech, but posting signs of any nature on the outside of university buildings is not allowed under campus rules,” Bird said. “Additionally, as per policy, only students and student organizations are allowed to post signage in approved spaces on campus. The campus is reserved for the use of students, faculty, staff and their invited guests. Any person coming onto campus damaging or defacing university property is subject to criminal prosecution.”

UT President Gregory L. Fenves posted a comment on Twitter: “When some try to divide us, Longhorns stand together. Diversity and inclusion are among our top priorities.”

Activists affiliated with a group called American Vanguard appeared to claim responsibility for the posters, declaring on Twitter that “@UTAustin got a visit from the American Vanguard last night,” along with the hashtag “MakeAmericaWhiteAgain.”

Adherents of the same group apparently were responsible for white supremacist posters found Feb 1. at UT-Dallas, said Larry Zacharias, police chief at that school. American Vanguard boasts on its website that it has also put up posters at Texas State University, Rice University, the University of North Texas and Abilene Christian University as part of its “Texan offensive.”

Police, FBI investigate vandalism at Columbus mosque

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) —The Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says a man was caught on surveillance video vandalizing the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Center on the city’s northwest side.

Early Saturday morning, while a group of people were worshiping inside, security cameras caught the man scrawling anti-Islamic graffiti on the mosque doors.

“Our concern is that when people go to these mosques and vandalize and do these smaller things, that could lead to bigger things if strong action is not taken and these people are not prosecuted,” said CAIR legal director Romin Iqbal.

CAIR wants local law enforcement and the FBI to look into this act as a hate crime.

“There is a lot of fear in the community especially since the election that there has been an increase in hate crimes against Muslims in central Ohio,” said Iqbal.

“I don’t know if it rises to a level of a hate crime yet,” said Perry Township Police Chief John Petrozzi.

Perry Township police are searching for the suspect. They’re calling this an act of “criminal mischief.” So far, police have not found any direct threat of violence against Muslims who attend the mosque.

“He had some message he wanted to send. They key is trying to figure out what his motivation was and is he in fact dangerous,” said Petrozzi.

The FBI has stepped in to see if what was written on those doors could be considered a hate crime. If so, federal charges could be filed.

In the meantime, the community has rallied around the Islamic Center showing their support for the mosque and the Muslim faith.

Samantha Haub is just one of many who live in the city’s northwest side showing their support by bringing flowers and writing letters to the center.

“I think as neighbors it is really important to step out and reach out to those that live close by to you,” said Haub.

This Virginia County Denied a Necessary Permit to Build a Mosque, and It Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

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In Culpeper County, Virginia, some parcels of land have soil that make installing a septic system untenable. Unfortunately for the Islamic Center of Culpeper, they bought just such a parcel of land to build their mosque on. The solution, however, was straightforward. All they had to do was request a routine “pump and haul” permit from the county to remove sewage from the site.

In April 2016, the county denied the Islamic Center’s permit request, and that denial doesn’t pass the smell test. Since 1992, Culpeper County has received 26 commercial or religious use applications for this permit, including nine from churches. It has approved all but one — that’s right, a request from the Islamic Center of Culpeper. The county’s denial of the routine permit request came after local residents inundated officials with opposition calls and emails that disparaged Muslims and made references to terrorism and the 9/11 attacks.

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Liberal MP’s anti-Islamophobia motion set for debate next week

Some critics worry Motion 103 could chill free speech and ultimately lead to blasphemy laws

Members of Parliament will debate a motion to condemn Islamophobia and track incidents of hate crime against Muslims in the House of Commons next week. Motion 103 was tabled by Mississauga, Ont., Liberal backbencher Iqra Khalid last fall, but will be discussed in the aftermath of last month’s mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque. It calls on government to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
The motion, scheduled for one hour of debate on Wednesday, has generated a backlash online, with petitions garnering thousands of signatures opposing the motion.
Some critics have mischaracterized M-103 as a “bill” or a “law” rather than an non-binding motion.

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‘Islamophobia’ fuelling terrorism: UN chief

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“Islamophobia” in parts of the world is fuelling terrorism, the head of the United Nations said on a visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday, as anti-immigrant sentiment rises in some countries. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the comment to reporters after talks with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches,” Guterres said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. “This is sometimes the best support that Daesh can have to make its own propaganda,” Guterres said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group of Sunni extremists in Syria and Iraq.
Anti-immigration politicians including France’s Marine Le Pen have seen their popularity rise after an influx to Europe of migrants, many of them Muslims fleeing wars in Syria and elsewhere. US President Donald Trump issued an order in late January that denied entry to all refugees for 120 days.

Calling ‘Islamophobia’ what it is: Anti-Muslim

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As anti-Muslim tendencies in the Western world continue to worsen, calling the situation Islamophobia no longer suffices as it fails to emphasize or define the alarming severity of the situation correctly

In her book “On the Muslim Question,” Professor Anne Norton says that the Jewish question shaped the 19th century and that now the Muslim question has replaced it in our century. The book most likely draws on an essay of Karl Marx, “On the Jewish Question,” and introduces a new chapter on the current situation. After all, Jews were seen as a plague-stricken people in the past by the general populace until the 20th century. They were rejected by other societies, spat upon, banished, ostracized, killed, pushed around, discriminated against and in the end suffered a horrific genocide. If one says that 20th-century Jews have been replaced by Muslims in the 21st century, this bears much investigation, since it is a most serious claim.
Some Western thinkers make the optimistic claim that Western societies have evolved into politically correct and post-racial societies, but recent events around the world, along with the tears and blood being shed at an alarming rate, prove this claim to be false.
Food for thought: Since 2001, as close as the new millennium, nearly 300 mosques in Europe have been burned down by arsonists. The number of Muslims who have fallen victim to murder is increasing. Just as in the NSU case in Germany, some of these murders also featured gross negligence by government agencies. Support and votes for political parties and leaders that are well known for their racist statements and policies has increased quite rapidly since the last elections. Immigrant countries, such as Syria or Iraq, are becoming common figures in European cities, instigating firstly xenophobia and secondly anti-Muslim sentiments.

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‘They Took The Hatred Out Of Me’: How Refugee Neighbors Changed A Man’s Mind About Muslims

Christopher Mathias

John Dutcher’s story highlights how anti-Muslim hate in the U.S. is fueled by Americans not knowing any Muslims.

“I hated Muslims.”

That’s what John Dutcher, a 61-year-old house cleaner in Omaha, Nebraska, recently admitted in interviews with both The Washington Post and KETV.

He told the Post that he had been “one of those guys who would want to put a pig’s head on a mosque.” (Pork-based hate crimes targeting Muslims are common in the U.S., including in Omaha.) And he’d “sneer at” women wearing headscarfs or hijabs, he said to KETV ― even though he had never actually met a Muslim person before.

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