While the mainstream media has been fixated on the alleged bombing plot in Times Square in New York by an accused Muslim extremist, attacks on Islamic institutions have gone largely unreported at the national level.
The incidents include the May 10 bombing of a mosque in Florida and there have been other incidents, including the desecration of the Holy Qur’an, the Islamic book of scripture, and other hateful acts against the faith. The bomb exploded outside the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, and state and national law enforcement authorities are looking into whether the bombing was an act of domestic terrorism.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations raised the issue of the lack of media coverage and the silence of public officials. CAIR has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the mosque bomber and noted media coverage has been mostly confined to Florida and the violent attack has not been condemned nationally.
“It is disturbing that, outside the state of Florida, our fellow citizens are largely unaware of the fact that a potentially-deadly bomb exploded at an American house of worship,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “One can only imagine the public and media response if someone with a Muslim name was the perpetrator of this apparent terror attack.”
Mr. Awad blamed the troubling incident on a “growing atmosphere of anti-Muslim sentiment” in America and particular disdain for the faith in Florida.
CAIR called on national Republican leaders to repudiate Islamophobic campaign advertisements for a Florida GOP congressional candidate. In Miami, anti-Islam advertisements were initially pulled from buses because of community concerns.
“The ads were later re-instated following threats of legal action by the sponsors, whose leader Pamela Geller has written on her personal blog that ‘Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam’ and that ‘lies and decption [sic] to advance Islam is a mandate.’ On her blog, Geller has also referred to President Obama as a ‘ball s**ker’ and posted a photoshopped image of him urinating on an American flag,” according to a statement issued by CAIR.
The Islamic rights group has also asked the FBI to probe what it calls a Florida-based hate group and charges the group was harassing Muslims and posting YouTube videos bragging of urinating in mosque washing stations and other disgusting activity.
The anti-Islam hate group ACT! for America and its Orlando Coordinator Alan Kornman are named in the complaint filed by CAIR with federal officials.
The complaint alleges stalking of a Muslim activist and the man’s family and a verbal threat. The letter also says Mr. Kornman pretended to convert to Islam in order to join in prayers at a local mosque. “Members of any faith community should be able to hold private religious gatherings without fear of harassment or intimidation,” said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ramzy Kilic.
CAIR has called on Republicans to have Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) pull support from ACT! for America after the groups said one of ACT! for America’s Florida representatives “was exposed bragging in a YouTube video that he desecrated the Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer.”
“The YouTube video shows an ACT! for America representative at an information table set up by the group on the University of Central Florida (UCF) campus stating: ‘Their foot baths, I love pi**ing in them … The Qur’an makes worthless toilet paper. It just kind of scratches my a** a little bit … To me, I like desecrating their (Muslims’) holy stuff,’ ” according to CAIR.
CAIR applauded statements from College Democrats at University of Central Florida and College Republicans at the university, which denounced ACT! for America.
“ACT! for America leader Brigitte Gabriel claims an American Muslim ‘cannot be a loyal citizen’ and that Islam is the ‘real enemy.’ She once told the Australian Jewish News: ‘Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.’ She also claimed that ‘Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word … it’s the vehicle for Islam … Islam is the problem,” according to CAIR.
CAIR also said, “When asked whether Americans should ‘resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation,’ Gabriel said: ‘Absolutely. If a Muslim who has–who is–a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day–this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.’ Gabriel stated: ‘America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam.’ ”
In April, CAIR reported that a Muslim university professor was appointed to the Jacksonville, Fla., Human Rights Commission “despite a prolonged smear campaign by the anti-Islam hate group ACT! for America, whose leader says Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office.”
These attacks on Islam are offensive to Muslims and should be offensive to fair-minded people. Islam in this country, in particular the Nation of Islam, has a history of reform and uplifting those at the bottom of a self-professed Christian society. While America touts freedom of religion and tolerance, these virtues are in short supply when it comes to Muslims.