Terror acts on Muslims on rise since Paris attacks

Attacks on Muslims have increased since the attacks in Paris last Friday, including reports of vandalism, death threats and firebombs.

Terror acts on Muslims on rise since Paris attacks

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Paris attacks have brought renewed attention to the situation of Muslims living in the U.S., many of whom have reported a significant increase in Islamophobia following the terror attacks in Paris last Friday.

Many Islamic communities across the U.S. have condemned the attacks, stating that most Muslims exst peacefully within American society.

1. Threatening calls to a mosque in St. Petersburg, Florida

A 43-year-old Seminole man was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday, Nov. 17, after allegedly making threatening calls to firebomb a mosque and shoot children in the head in St. Petersburg. Martin Alan Schnitzler has been charged with making a telephonic threat to kill, injure, or intimidate using fire or an explosive. 

If convicted, Schnitzler faces up to 10 years in federal prison. 

Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told BuzzFeed News people in the community were relieved Schnitzler had been arrested.

“Many members had been messaging us, asking why a man who would threaten to shoot our children and blow up our places of worship was still out on the streets, so we’re very relieved right now,” he said.

Shibly condemned the terrorism in Paris, but said the attacks had brought to the fore rising anti-Muslim sentiment.

“Everybody’s on edge,” he said.

2. Acts of vandalism at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville, Texas

Early on Monday, Nov. 12, worshippers arrived at mosque in Pflugerville, Texas, to find it had been damaged by vandals.

The Islamic Center of Pflugerville, located in a strip mall near Austin, was smeared with feces and pages torn from the Qur’an.

Police told BuzzFeed News the case is being investigated as a hate crime.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Assistant Pflugerville Police Chief Jim McLean told BuzzFeed News.

“We’re not real sure what the reason for it was,” he added. “We don’t have a lot of information on it. There’s not video or anything we can wrap our hands around. Our detectives are out working it. We have intelligence we’re trying to gather about folks who may have done it.”

3. Threats to “shoot up a mosque” near Houston, Texas

Quoting a verse from the bible, Clayton Alexander Cansler of New Territory was held under arrested after he allegedly wrote to a friend that he would attack an Islamic place of worship and uploaded a picture to Facebook of an assault rifle and ammunition, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s officials. He was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 17, the 26-year-old  arrested near Houston, Texas, for allegedly saying he would “shoot up a mosque” to avenge the Paris attacks.

Cansler was charged with making a terroristic threat and released Wednesday morning after posting a $10,000 bond.

4. Islamic Center vandalized in Omaha, Nebraska

CAIR on Monday requested the FBI investigate vandalism that appeared on an Islamic center in Omaha, Nebraska.

The symbol of the Eiffel Tower peace sign, which has circulated online after the Paris attacks a powerful signal of solidarity, was spray-painted onto an outside wall of the mosque.

“Looking at the symbol itself, yes, it’s a good thing,” Omaha Islamic Center chairman Mohammed Rasheed told local station KETV. “But putting it on a mosque — it’s like you’re relating it to the Muslims.” 

5. Mosque fired upon in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the FBI is investigating bullet holes that were discovered in the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden, the Associated Press reported.

Members of the mosque discovered it had apparently been targeted by a shooting when they arrived for evening prayer on Sunday, Nov. 15.

However, Salaam Bhatti, a spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, of which the mosque is a member, told NBC News that one of the bullets pierced multiple walls before exiting out the back.

“The first reaction was, ‘Thank God nobody was here,” Bhatti said, adding that “true Islam” is about community building and reaching out to neighbors.

According to police investigator, Charles Grady, the FBI outreach specialist for the New Haven division, an investigation is still ongoing.

6. Muslim student’s dorm room vandalized in Connecticut 

Also in Connecticut, a Muslim student at UConn found the words “killed Paris” written under his dorm room name tag over the weekend, local media reported.

Campus police are now investigating whether a hate crime occurred.

Mahmoud Hashem, a junior at the university, told WILX News his roommate was the first to notice that the words written on his dorm room name tag.

Believing it to be a joke at first, Hashem was deeply offended when he saw the note for himself.

“So when I go and find out that I was so upset. I actually cried at first, but then I heard my roommates talk with each other and they take pictures and called the [resident advisor],” he said. “I was so happy because they are the first people who support me.”

Source: Buzzfeed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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