Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Mosque Fire Suspected as Hate Crime|
|11/28/00 at 13:03:53|
|Mosque Fire Suspected as Hate Crime|
Published Monday November 27, 2000
By iviews.com staff report
A fire that destroyed a Surrey area mosque in British Columbia last week
is suspected by area Muslims as a possible hate crime.
According to Canadian media reports and interviews with mosque officials,
the fire was noticed early Thursday by a worshipper who was praying in
mosque's basement. When he discovered the lobby was in flames, he ran from
the building and called 911.
When firefighters arrived, the two-story building was fully engulfed in
flames. The lobby was destroyed and the rest of the building suffered
heavy damage. No injuries were reported.
Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that they are following
up witness reports of a van speeding away from the scene just before an
explosion was heard. Investigators have not ruled out arson.
The Canadian chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations called
on law enforcement officials to investigate the suspicious fire as a hate
crime. CAIR-Canada director Sheema Khan believes recent tensions in the
Middle East and negative portrayals of Muslims in the American and
Canadian media point to a possible motive in the attack.
"The racist tone of pro-Israel commentaries in the current Middle East
crisis only serves to fan the flames of existing prejudice and
stereotyping. This anti-Muslim rhetoric can easily turn into the reality
of physical attacks," said Dr. Sheema Khan, director of CAIR's Canadian
Office (CAIR-CAN). By way of example, she cited a November 19 Calgary Sun
commentary claiming the "mandate of Islam" is "death to the Jews."
Representatives of that same newspaper recently apologized after an
associate editor told Muslim critics "Allah be damned! Mohammed too!"
In another incident on October 13, panelist Victor Mordecai said "...the
Muslim people are good people, but Islam is a Satanic system," during a
program on radio station CJBK in London, Ontario. In the October 30th
issue of MacLean's magazine, columnist Barbara Amiel wrote: "Arab
culture...appears to put the glory of the tribe and Allah before the
individual's happiness or suffering."
A recently released media report by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC)
cited Canada's National Post as the newspaper that publishes the most
CAIR reports that remarks by a range of public figures, from congressional
candidates to syndicated columnists, have portrayed Islam as "murderous"
and Palestinians as "lower than pond scum" or "rag heads," "pieces of
sh-t" and "turds." And several weeks ago, CAIR released a statement citing
fears that "the escalation of Islamophobic rhetoric could trigger a
backlash against American Muslims." CAIR cited as an example the
anti-Muslim hysteria following the 1995 terrorist attack on the Murrah
Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Attacks on mosques and Islamic centers have occurred across America. Just
recently, vandals targeted the Islamic Center of Southern California. In
June, a gunman attacked a Memphis, Tenn., Islamic center as worshipers
gathered for morning prayers. In May of last year, a would-be terrorist
was arrested after fleeing from the area of a mosque near Denver, Colo.
The suspect's car was found to contain loaded weapons and bomb-making
As early as 1994, a nearly completed mosque in Yuba City, Calif., burned
to the ground in what was ruled an arson attack. In 1995, arson destroyed
a Springfield, Ill., Islamic center. And in 1996, a suspect was charged
for involvement in an arson attack on a Greenville, S.C., mosque. Acts of
mosque vandalism have occurred in Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, Colorado,
Illinois, and Georgia. Last year, an arson attack severely damaged a
Minneapolis, Minn., mosque.
Surrey Masjid, which opened in 1979, was British Columbia's first mosque.
|Re: Mosque Fire Suspected as Hate Crime|
|11/28/00 at 13:38:34|
|This is horrible and scary!!!!!!|
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org