Archive for Hate Crime

Illinois: Joshua Scaggs Stabs Man to “Save This Country”

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on January 1, 2012 by loonwatch
Joshua ScaggsJoshua Scaggs

A reader of BareNakedIslam or JihadWatch perhaps?

(Hat tip: JD)

CAIR believes Champaign stabbing was hate crime

(Muslim News)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for federal civil rights charges to be filed against a man seeking to “save his country” by allegedly stabbing a faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Law who he thought was Middle Eastern.

The non-Muslim victim of Sri Lankan origin was stabbed December 7 on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building in Champaign, Ill. The victim was singled out due to his perceived ethnicity and the attacker allegedly committed the offense to, in his words, save his country. The victim underwent surgery for a stab wound to his neck.

His alleged attacker, 23-year-old Joshua Scaggs, was charged with attempted murder and a hate crime.

We thank local law enforcement authorities for their swift and professional actions in this case and urge the US Department of Justice to consider what federal civil rights charges could be filed in the case, said a CAIR spokesman.

Adding, Our society must begin to address the rising level of anti-Muslim sentiment that can lead to such disturbing incidents.

CAIR contacted the FBI and local police to seek the investigation of a possible bias motive for the stabbing of a Sikh man at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.

Hate Crime: US Army Veteran Tortures a Pakistani Muslim

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2011 by loonwatch
David Nienberg is being held in a Harris County Jail on $30,000 bail. / HCSODavid Nienberg is being held in a Harris County Jail on $30,000 bail. / HCSO

Family says attack on Muslim man in Tomball should be hate crime


Yaqub Bham’s visit to a residence in Tomball on Wednesday was supposed to be routine for the 61-year-old ADT salesman, who had come to inspect a client’s property before installing a home security system.

Instead, the homeowner, David L. Nienberg, allegedly tried to stab Bham with a fork, bit off part of his ear, and beat him so badly that he broke 10 ribs.

Nienberg, 42, of Tomball, is charged with aggravated assault. If convicted, he could serve from two to 20 years in prison.

Bham’s distraught family members want the incident investigated as a possible hate crime against Bham, a Muslim native of Pakistan who became an American citizen in 2007.They say an agitated Nienberg became violent after asking Bham about the origin of his name and where he was from.

Harris County sheriff’s deputies who responded to a 911 call from Nienberg’s family about 5:50 p.m. on Wednesday did not mention the questions about Bham’s name and origins in their report, said Deputy Thomas Gilliland, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Gilliland said Nienberg apparently became angry while reviewing the contract for a security system in his four-bedroom home on Everhart Pointe Drive. When Bham offered to make another contract, or change it, “the defendant took the backpack that Mr. Bham had and wouldn’t give him the backpack, which contained the keys to his vehicle,” Gilliland said.

The two men’s verbal disagreement then became physical, the deputy said.

Nienberg lunged at Bham with a fork, Gilliland said he was told. Relatives took the implement away, but Nienberg allegedly managed to get Bham in a choke hold, beat him, and bite him while muttering about military operations.

When deputies arrived, Nienberg refused to let go of Bham until they “secured the perimeter” and “secured women personnel,” Gilliland said.

It took three deputies to pull Nienberg off Bham, he said. They deployed Tasers on Nienberg twice, and even then, the furious man continued to kick and spit after they wrestled him into a patrol car, said Gilliland.

Victim hospitalized

Bham, who was recovering Friday in a local hospital, immigrated to Houston in 1997 and is the married father of three adult children. He and his family proudly became U.S. citizens four years ago, said his daughter, Shazdeh Bham, 23.

“When we moved to the States, it was for educational opportunities and just a better living, a better life,” she said.

Every once in a while, the Bham family hears negative comments like, “Go back to your country where you belong,” Shazdeh Bham said, “but it’s never bothered us. It never made us think twice about anything.”

The attack on her father was different, though, and frightening.

“I’m just really angry, and I’m extremely confused because I still don’t understand why this happened, and what triggered this … and why this person caused this much harm and this much hurt to my father,” she said. “Now I just want to see justice. I want to see this person punished for what he did.”

Shazdeh Bham said her father is a hardworking citizen who would never say anything negative about anyone.

“He is a patient and positive person,” she added. “He is very easy to work with. His family is his entire life, which is his only priority.”

Nienberg’s questions about Bham’s name and background suggest that the attack might have been motivated by racial or religious bias, said Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The group on Friday joined Bham’s family in calling on local law enforcement and the FBI to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

“It’s because of what precipitated the attack that makes us think it has all the elements of a hate crime: ‘What does your name mean? Where are you from?’ And then boom, he jumped on him,” Carroll said.

“The level of hate speech and rhetoric that we hear on a fairly regular basis in society – the baseless accusations that Muslims are trying to take over America, or they’re trying to bring Sharia law, or they’re trying to subvert the government – this baseless rhetoric keeps the environment heated for something like this to happen, for the possibility of violence,” he said. “When you say that stuff over and over and over, it begins to play on your psychology toward a certain group of people.”

Motives a mystery

Nienberg has no prior criminal history in Harris County.

After hearing about his use of military terms, deputies asked Nienberg’s relatives if he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, Gilliland said. They were told that Nienberg is a veteran but that he had never served in any type of conflict, nor had he ever been deployed overseas.

Neither Bham nor Nienberg’s family members offered a clue as to what went wrong, Gilliland said.

He said deputies are looking into whether Nienberg was under the influence of narcotics or alcohol or had suffered a mental break, “because it was just incoherent, the things that he was saying.”

It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to upgrade the charges to a hate crime, Gilliland said.

As it is, Nienberg is charged with a second-degree felony.

He is being held in a Harris County Jail on $30,000 bail.

When Being Mistaken for Muslim Can Get You Stabbed

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by loonwatch

(updated – below)

The Hindustan Times reports that a Sikh individual was stabbed in an unprovoked attack at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.  A hate crime is suspected.  It is very common for anti-Muslim bigots to confuse Sikhs, who wear conspicuous turbans, for Muslims–a confusion that is symbolically representative of the profound ignorance that underlies Islamophobia.

Sikh man stabbed at US airport, hate crime suspected
Associated Press
Fresno, California, December 07, 2011

A Sikh man waiting for a plane at Fresno Yosemite International Airport has been stabbed in a seemingly unprovoked attack, police said. The victim was treated at the airport and boarded his flight bound for India. Fresno police said Mitchell Dufur, 26, stabbed the Sikh man in his 50s in the upper torso Sunday evening in the security area. No words were exchanged before the attack. The man was standing with his translator when the attack occurred.

Dufur was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a knife in an airport.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday urged the FBI and police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

“Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims,” said Sacramento CAIR executive director Basim Elkarra.

Gina Swankie in the Sacramento FBI office said her office was having “a dialogue with the group,” but would not confirm whether they had opened an investigation.

Police Lt Don Gross said investigators have not determined whether it was a hate crime because Dufur has refused to talk to police about his motive.

Two elderly men were earlier gunned down in Sacramento on March 4 while walking through a neighbourhood in Elk Grove.

Update I:

Ahmed Rehab tweeted about a second stabbing, another possible hate crime.  Rehab tweeted:

An Indian American Law professor at #UIUC (unconfirmed) stabbed at train station by a man yelling “This is MY country”

The story is still unfolding, but is being reported here:

University faculty member stabbed in alleged hate crime

A faculty member from the College of Law was stabbed Wednesday on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the report, officers found Joshua Scaggs, 23, and the 41-year-old victim, a professor at the University.

The suspect was lying on the floor face-down near a utility knife, and the victim was sitting in a chair bleeding profusely.

“One of our faculty members was involved in that incident,” said John Colombo, assistant dean at the College of Law. “I can’t confirm (the name) to anyone outside of the College of Law community.”

Police took Scaggs into custody. A witness said Scaggs and the victim were seated in the waiting area when Scaggs suddenly jumped up and shouted that this was his country. He then attacked the victim, who is a non-white male.

Scaggs grabbed the victim around the neck and appeared to be choking him. He then forced the victim to the floor. The witness then pulled the suspect off of the male.

Scaggs was issued a $500,000 bond Thursday, according to the Champaign County Clerk’s office.

The 41-year-old victim, of Champaign, was transported to the Carle Hospital emergency room. Scaggs was later arrested on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime and transported to the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

Can you imagine if two Christian or Jewish-Americans were stabbed by Muslims in separate incidents?  What do you think the reaction of the media would have been?

Qalqilyah: Another Attack on a West Bank Mosque

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on December 7, 2011 by loonwatch

The so called price tag attacks against Mosques and Muslims continues unabated in Palestine.

Suspected hate crime at mosque near Qalqilyah

Anonymous vandals hurled a burning tire at the entrance of a mosque in Brukin, a village south-east of Qalqilyah. They also spray painted the walls and smashed the windshields of two nearby vehicles. The police have launched an investigation into the suspected hate crime.

The IDF said in response: “The IDF and Defense Ministry are working to locate those responsible and take incidents in which property is damaged very seriously, especially in the case of holy sites.” (Yoav Zitun and Omri Efraim)

So the IDF is “working to locate those responsible?” Well, maybe they should look at their own ranks, as three Israeli soldiers were recently arrested for partaking in “price tag” attacks.

Muslim Woman Spat On, Hijab Pulled Off by Gang

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2011 by loonwatch

The EDL?

Muslim woman, 52, racially abused by Telford gang

A Muslim woman was spat at and abused by a gang of six teenagers in Telford who pulled off her religious headdress in a racially motivated attack.

The gang, who were all male, surrounded the 52-year-old woman and started aggressively pushing and shoving her as she walked along a footpath by the skate park near William Reynolds Infant School in Woodside on Tuesday. Chris Ammonds, spokesman for Telford police, said the woman was abused between 6pm and 6.20pm.

“After circling the victim the youths then started to racially abuse her. At least one of the youths spat at the victim too.

“The youths then pulled the victim’s hijab – a traditional Muslim headdress – off her head and taunted her with it but she quickly managed to grab it back off them and flee.

“The victim has been left very shaken by this incident and also suffered a long scratch to her right cheek as a result of the assault.

“The youths that surrounded the victim are all described as being white, aged between 15 and 17 and as wearing tracksuits and hooded tops or caps.

“Officers are very keen to identify the youths that assaulted this woman.”

Anyone with information should call Telford police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Read more:

Hate Crime: Burnt Qur’an sent to Bronx mosque

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2011 by loonwatch

Hate crimes continue.

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Burnt Qur’an sent to Bronx mosque

A Bronx Imam received a partially burnt Koran, delivered in an envelope to his mosque the day before Sept. 11th.

The Imam found the Koran in a brown envelope, which showed up at his mosque on East 198th Street at around noon Saturday. There were also papers inside the envelope covered with cartoon like drawing depicting hatred towards Muslims.

The Imam also found white powder inside the envelope. Tests determined the powder was actually pieces of the burnt Koran.

The incident is being investigated by the hate NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

WABC, 13 September 2011

5 Teens Arrested After Shot Fired Outside Mosque

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by loonwatch

*Originally published Aug.25.

Hate is alive and well, and it’s affecting our youth as well. (hat tip: Amber)

5 Teens Arrested After Shot Fired Outside Mosque

Five teens were arrested and charged after a shot was fired outside of an Orleans County mosque Monday night as worshipers were leaving nightly Ramadan services.

YNN spoke with members of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque in Waterport as well as law enforcement officials to learn more about what happened.

“I’m just grateful that things weren’t worse last night, which they easily could’ve been,” said David Bell of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque.

Members of the mosque in Waterport said they have been harassed since they were first founded in 1974. They said they have experienced everything from people speeding by and shouting vulgar language to having their fence torn out and burned down.

Still, they said nothing compares to what happened Monday after nightly prayer services.

“As we were standing here, the one car came back and instead of speeding by that car swerved directly into our group of people. It clipped me,” Bell said. “I fell to the ground and what’s even more difficult is what happened after. There was a group of people and a shot was fired before the car sped away.”

“This is actually the first time that someone’s actually been physically injured and that’s a concern for us. Imagine coming out after a service, particularly a holy service, coming out and seeing someone flipped by a car obviously we’re going to feel threatened by it, we’re going to feel insecure about it and we’re gonna wonder where is our protection and where are our rights,” said Bilal Huzair of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque.

Huzair said members of the mosque immediately called 911 to report the incident.

He said another member, who was late to prayer service, spotted the black SUV and white truck parked down the road at the Lake Alice Public Boat Launch. He said the member recognized the vehicles as the ones that were allegedly involved in a separate harassing incident just a few days earlier.

5 Teens Arrested After Shot Fired Outside Mosque

Huzair said once David Bell was taken to the hospital for treatment, he and other members of the mosque drove to the boat launch and used their cars to surround the two vehicles full of teens until police arrived.

Huzair claims it took more than 40 minutes for police to arrive and that police only came after the teens called 911 to say they were being harassed.

“I think there’s some miscommunication as to what agencies can respond and where they respond. There was more than one law enforcement agency involved in this. We did have local Albion police and state police assisting the sheriff’s office on both incidents,” said Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess.

“Whether or not it was properly responded to initially is something we’ll be looking at, but I can tell you on behalf of this county, this is something that we’re taking extremely serious and will be properly addressed to be sure there will be no further escalation of what’s already occurred and the harassment that they’ve been subject to,” said Joseph Cardone, Orleans County district attorney.

Investigators charged Mark Vendetti, 17; Tim Weader, 17; Dylan Phillips, 18; Jeff Donahue, 18; and Anthony Ogden, 18, with misdemeanor disruption of religious services.

Vendetti is also charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly shooting a 16-gauge shotgun in front of the mosque where people were leaving. He was arraigned and sent to the Orleans County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Authorities said all five teens are buddies from Holley.

No charges have been filed related to Bell’s injury, though the district attorney said more charges are possible. Four of the teens are scheduled to appear in Carlton Town Court on September 6.

“I’m hopeful that something can begin to change,” Bell added.

Later in the day on Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for appropriate hate crime charges to be brought against the five Orleans County teenagers.

“New York Muslims must be free to practice their faith without fear of harassment or intimidation,” said Faiza N. Ali, community affairs director of CAIR’s New York chapter.

People who live near the mosque are reacting to the arrests. Opinion seems to be mixed on whether the incidents are related to religion.

“Just kids being renegade kids, you know there’s renegade kids out there. So anyway nobody got shot I guess. Kid probably went by and blew a shot out of the window,” said Phil Coville of Albion.

“You don’t do pranks with loaded weapons. It’s unfortunate. Kids, I don’t know how old they are, but they have a way of wrecking their own youth with rash acts And i hope somebody will put the brakes on these guys,” said Patricia Smith of Ontario.

“They were wrong because you don’t go interrupt somebody’s thing and go shoot off a gun, that’s not right, that’s not right. They should think first with their actions, not try to hurt somebody,” said Deborah Rebar of Albion.

People that YNN spoke with said they know very little about the mosque itself.

YNN contacted Carlton Town Supervisor Gayle Ashbery, who declined comment for our report.