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2014: Another hard & difficult year for American Muslims

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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* A Muslim teen ager is fatally injured in an a hate assault in Kansas City.

* Somali cabbie beaten in Seattle hate crime.

* St. Cloud Minnesota mosque vandalized four times within 4 weeks.

* Hate attack on a Bosnian Muslim woman in St Lous.

* Urine placed at Muslim chaplain's office at Wake Forest University, North Carolina.

* Florida State University professor resigns after anti-Muslim Facebook comments.

These are some of the news headlines in the first two weeks of December 2014 related to the Muslims in America. These tragic incidents and disturbing episodes embody the dilemma and plight of the seven-million strong Muslim American community which remained under siege since 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Discrimination and hate crimes against the Muslims in America increased after the beheading of American journalists by the so-called " ISIS or Islamic State" terrorists whose sudden meteorite rise remains questionable.

Not surprisingly, The New York Daily News highlighted the issue with the following headline: Muslims across America, Europe face renewed 9/11-style scorn amid ISIS' violent campaign. The paper said: "Muslims in America and Europe say discrimination against them has seemed more pronounced after the Islamic State terrorists beheaded American and British journalists and aid workers. Hate-filled remarks on social media have also become more prevalent, especially since 9/11, when Facebook and Twitter did not yet exist."

At the same time, the New York Police Department reported a spike in the number of hate crimes against Jews and Muslims since the Israeli operation against Palestinians this summer and the beheading of two American journalists by the "Islamic State" group. Media coverage of the two major stories to emerge from the Mideast this summer contributed to a 50% combined jump in bias-related attacks against members of the two religions as well as other hate crimes, such as anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim graffiti, New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

Hate Crimes

On December 4, 2014, a 15-year-old boy, Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, was killed in a hit-and-run outside the Somali Center of Kansas City. According to police, the boy's legs were severed when an SUV intentionally swerved toward him and struck him. He was transported to a hospital but died from his injuries. The driver of the vehicle, a man in his 30s, ran from the scene but was caught by the police and taken into custody.

Family members told WDAF-TV the teenager was the son of the Somali Center's leader. Community members say the driver has been threatening the Muslim community for months on Facebook and in person. They shared a photo with the media of the man's SUV with anti-Muslim graffiti on its back window that read, "Quran is a virus disease woreste [sic] than Ebola."

The deadly Kansas City incident came a day after vandalism was reported at the Central Minnesota Islamic Center in St. Cloud. Muslim leaders in St. Cloud reported on Dec 3 that vandalism was discovered at the Central Minnesota Islamic Center. On Dec 15, again the Central Minnesota Islamic Center was vandalized with a broken window. This was the fourth incident of damage at the Islamic center within few weeks.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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