Archive for Mosque

Tennessee Congressional Race Gets 100 Percent More Anti-Shariah-y

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2012 by loonwatch

We may have spoke to soon when we wrote that the Murfreesboro Mosque saga in Tennessee may be coming to an end.

Tennessee Congressional Race Gets 100 Percent More Anti-Shariah-y

By Tim Murphy (Mother Jones)

If you live in Middle Tennessee, get ready for another four months of overheated rhetoric about Islam. On Thursday, tea partier and anti-Shariah activist Lou Ann Zelenik announced that she’s challenging incumbent Rep. Diane Black (R), setting up a rematch of a 2010 GOP primary that focused heavily on the question of whether Muslims in Murfreesboro should be allowed to build a new mosque.

In that campaign, Zelenik lashed herself to the mosque issue, speaking at a march to protest the construction, and accusing Black of being soft on Shariah. As she told Talking Points Memo, “This isn’t a mosque. They’re building an Islamic center to teach Sharia law. That is what we stand in opposition to.” Zelenik feared that a new mosque in Murfreesboro would be a stepping stone to a more sinister end—the encroachment of radical Islam into Middle Tennessee. It wasn’t a winning issue, it turned out, but Zelenik’s argument resonated in the city. Later that year, a handful of residents filed a lawsuit to block the construction of the mosque, arguing that Muslims weren’t protected by the First Amendment because Islam is a totalitarian political system, not a religion (the Department of Justice was forced to file an amicus brief noting that, yes, Islam is a religion).

Although Black took a relatively moderate stance on the mosque when she ran for Congress, promising to respect Tennesseans’ freedom of religion, she has an anti-Islam history, too: as a state Senator, she sponsored Tennessee’s 2010 law designed to ban Islamic law from being enforced in state courts.

The added wrinkle here, which should give the primary an added degree of out-in-the-open animosity, is that until two weeks ago, Zelenik was being sued by Black’s husband. The suit centered on an ad Zelenik ran during the 2010 pointing out that then-state Sen. Black had steered contracts to her husband’s forensic science business. Black and his company, Aegis Sciences, considered this charge defamatory, but the court ruled that Zelenik’s spot was accurate, and in this case the truth was the only defense necessary. So: drama.

One quibble, though: The Murfreesboro News-Journal notes that Zelenik will step down from her job at the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, “a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization that has been instrumental in sounding the alarm over the growing Islamic movement in America and the threat of Sharia Law.” That’s not quite accurate, as there is no real threat from Shariah law in the United States. More accurately, TFC has been instrumental in running around stirring up fears over a phantom menace. This would be a small point, except that Murfreesboro isground-zero for the Islamophobia movement, so it’s something the local newspapers really ought to get right.

UK: Police Investigate Mosque Fire, Possible Arson

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Luton mosque fire

Luton mosque fire

Another mosque fire in the UK:

Luton: police probe mosque fire

An investigation is underway after an arson attack at a mosque in Bury Park in the early hours of this morning (April 2).

Fire crews were called to the Bury Park Jamia Masjid in Bury Park Road at 4.30am, after two large metal bins were pushed up against a door and set alight. The scene has been cordoned off by police while a fire investigation takes place.

Det Con Colin Knight, investigating the incident, said: “We’re keeping an open mind and appealing for witnesses. We don’t know at this stage what the motive was.”

Anwar Hussain, the mosque’s cultural secretary, said its leaders were angry about what had happened. “People are going to be very upset when they come for prayers,” he said. “But we will tell them to remain calm. The investigation is ongoing but my opinion is that it was deliberate. The police response has been very good, they will be checking CCTV footage from the cameras in the street, and we hope they will catch the culprits.”

Luton Today, 2 April 2012

Burned Wichita Mosque to be Rebuilt

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by loonwatch

Churches and locals helping Muslims to rebuild their burned down mosque in Wichita, Kansas:

Burned Wichita mosque to be rebuilt

(WICHITA, Kan.) — A Wichita mosque near Taft and Knight that burned down in November will soon be in service again.

“Everybody knew that they wanted to rebuild and that we do need a center on the west side for the people that use it. How that was going to get done, there were some logistics that needed to be worked out,” explains Donna Sibaai, Islamic Association member.

Investigators have never determined a cause in last fall’s fire, but gave the mosque persmission to start rebuilding last month. On Monday, supplies for the building’s roof were delivered.

Sibaai adds, “It’s like the first piece of the puzzle, so it’s going to be a great day for our community.”

Sibaai says the fire was devastating, but an outpouring of support from the community and other churches made things easier.

“Many of us got personal emails, people just wanting to know what they could do to help, offering their spaces even for worship. We had several churches offer space for worship for our Friday prayers, it was amazing.”

A crane will be brought in a Wednesday to put the roof on the building. The mosque sustained about $130,000 in damages.

Mosque in Belgium Targeted for Second Time

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by loonwatch

Mosque in Belgium targeted for second time

(World Bulletin)

A mosque in Belgium affiliated with Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has been the target of a racially-motivated attack for the second time in the past year.

Last July, an image of a pig attached to a wooden cross was left in the grounds of the Alaaddin Mosque in the Marchienne-au-Pont neighborhood of Charleroi and the Turkish flag outside the building was torn.

Now, less than a year later, a similar attack has taken place at the same mosque, where a number of racial and İslamophobic slurs, including “Go home foreigners,” have been sprayed on the walls of the building and grounds. Those involved in the attack have not been identified.

A spokesman for the mosque said the local Muslim community felt deeply aggrieved by the attack and the slurs directed towards them and their religion. Further, disappointment was expressed by the DİB that authorities made no effort to follow up on the last attack or bring the perpetrators to account for their actions.

The incident is part of a growing trend of Islamophobic attacks, which have become increasingly common in Belgium over the past decade.

Cihan

Anti-Muslim Attacks Rose 34% in France in 2011

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by loonwatch
AntiMuslim_Attacks_Increased_by_34%_France
Anti-Muslim Attacks Increased by 34% in France in 2011

These numbers are very conservative, however they are still quite alarming. If anyone has a better translation please forward it to us, this is my quick translation via. Google:

Anti-Muslim Attacks Rose 34% in France in 2011

(Le Monde)

On Wednesday, the 1st of February, the National Observatory against Islamophobia said that Anti-Muslim acts and threats listed on French soil in 2011 increased 34% over the previous year.

According to Abdallah Zekri, president of the observatory attached to the French Muslim Council, these figures are from Statistics compiled by the Sub-Directorate of General Information (SDIG), reported the AFP.

“The actions and threats that have been the subject of formal complaints to the police and gendarmerie have increased from 116 in 2010 to 155 in 2011, an increase of 33.9%,” says Zekri. Only for actions, SDIG statistics for 2011, concerning in particular the violence and assault, fire and damage, the number increased from 22 to 38 a year to the next.

“I wish that President Sarkozy, to whom I sent a letter in December, make a statement. It denounces these unspeakable acts. In short, he seeks to allay the concerns of Muslims who are citizens just as Christians or Jews, “said Mr. Zekri.

The original French:

Les actes anti-musulmans ont augmenté de 34 % en 2011

(Le Monde)

Les actes et menaces anti-musulmans répertoriés sur le territoire français en 2011 ont augmenté de 34 % par rapport à l’année précédente, a annoncé mercredi 1er février l’Observatoire national contre l’islamophobie.

Selon Abdallah Zekri, président de cet observatoire rattaché au Conseil français du culte musulman, ces chiffres proviennent de statistiques de la sous-direction de l’information générale (SDIG), communiquées à l’AFP.

“Les actions et les menaces qui ont fait l’objet de plaintes déposées officiellement auprès des services de police et de gendarmerie sont passées de 116 en 2010 à 155 en 2011, soit une augmentation de 33,9 %”, précise M. Zekri. Pour les seules actions, les statistiques de la SDIG pour 2011, qui concernent notamment les violences et voies de faits, les incendies et les dégradations, leur nombre passe de 22 à 38 d’une année sur l’autre.

“J’aurais aimé que le président Sarkozy, à qui j’ai adressé une lettre en décembre, fasse une déclaration. Qu’il dénonce ces actes inqualifiables. Bref, qu’il cherche à apaiser les inquiétudes des musulmans, qui sont des citoyens au même titre que les chrétiens ou les juifs”, a déclaré M. Zekri.

Mosque in Fairfax County Vandalized

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by loonwatch
A mosque in Fairfax County suffered thousands of dollars in damage. News4's Megan McGrath has the story.
A mosque in Fairfax County suffered thousands of dollars in damage. News4’s Megan McGrath has the story.

$60,000 in damage! An attack on any religious establishment is an attack on all religious establishments.

Mosque in Fairfax County Vandalized

http://media.nbcwashington.com/designvideo/embeddedPlayer.swf
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

By Megan McGrath

Construction crews should be putting the finishing touches on the Mubarak Blessed Mosque in Chantilly. Instead, they are repairing the work of vandals.

Sometime between Sunday evening and 6 a.m. Monday morning, the mosque was pelted with stones and masonry blocks. Nearly all the custom made windows and glass doors on the first floor were shattered.  Damage has been estimated at $60,000.

Investigators found beer and liquor bottles in the woods behind the mosque, and they believe teenagers may be responsible.

“It is very sad,” said the mosque’s general secretary, Usman Ghumman.  “But at the same time, our community is very resilient.  We have asked our community members to fervently pray that we are able to overcome this hurdle.”

Mubarak Blessed Mosque has been under construction for a year, and was scheduled to open in just weeks.

Jerrold Foltz, pastor at the Wellspring United Church of Christ, said acts like this are an affront to area’s entire religious community.  “Its an insult to the whole religious establishment,” Foltz said, “whether its a church or a mosque or a synagogue.”

Investigators say there is no evidence that it is a hate crime – nothing was taken and no graffiti was left behind.  However, because of the extent of the damage, those responsible face felony charges.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has asked the FBI to investigate the possibility of a bias motive in the incident.

Update: Longview Resident Welcomes Mosque

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2012 by loonwatch
Jesus_Yard_Signs
Longview Jesus Yard Signs

We reported on the negative response Longview, Texas Muslims received from “some” of their neighbors who don’t want to see a mosque built in the town. It is only fair that we also highlight the voices who have no problem with the mosque and are in fact “disappointed” with the ignorant actions some of the anti-Mosque neighbors have taken.

Longview resident welcomes mosque

A Longview resident said Thursday he is disappointed by the negative reaction from a portion of the Longview community toward a mosque being built on Amy Street.

“Quite frankly it was very disheartening to me to see that type of discussion taking place here in our community,” Vik Verma said during public comment at a Longview City Council meeting.

“I believe it’s strongly unwarranted. The Islamic community of Longview is merely wanting to have a house of worship just like any other faith in Longview, in Gregg County, in Texas and in the United States. I think this is a value that our community should embrace.”

Verma said freedom of religion is a right granted in the U.S. Constitution and that the community should embrace it. “I support the mosque. I’m glad it’s coming to Gregg County,” Verma said. “I think it’s good for diversity in our area, and I think it’s good for the community as a whole.”

Longview News-Journal, 27 January 2012