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An Arsonist Struck a Muslim Woman’s Home in Maryland

An Arsonist Struck a Muslim Woman’s Home in Maryland

A Muslim woman’s home was set on fire on Sept. 6 in Windsor Mill, Md. She arrived home to find her gas stove aflame with an as-of-yet unidentified object, and put out the fire.
If she had been involved in the scene any later, her apartment may have suffered severe damage. This is the latest in a series of attacks on her home, as described by Zainab Chaudry, the Outreach Manager for Maryland’s chapter of the Council on American-Islam Relations.

Tentative reports suggest that the arsonist may have had easy access to the apartment and therefore could be a fellow resident, since there is no evidence of forced entry.

Chaudry spoke on behalf of the woman affected by arson, whose name has not been released. The Muslim woman’s apartment has been attacked several times. On Aug. 20 and Aug. 30, she came home to see furniture, and then shoe polish smeared all over her household belongings.
Tentative reports suggest that the arsonist may have had easy access to the apartment and therefore could be a fellow resident, since there is no evidence of forced entry.
The woman, a widow with two young children, has moved back in with her family in Bel Air, out of fear for her family’s safety. They await continued investigation.  John Wachter spoke for the county police, reporting that the arson is still under investigation, so he cannot reveal more details at this time.

While we wait for further details from this case to come out, it is important to wonder what may have motivated a person to graffiti a Muslim woman’s wall with the name ‘ISIS’ before proceeding to set it on fire.

It is, however, being treated as a bias crime. Graffiti was found on the walls of her apartment, which included the word “ISIS.” The family is offering an award of $1,000 for any information that could help toward catching the arsonist.
For those who believe political rhetoric isn’t dangerous, such cases stand as stark evidence to the contrary. While we wait for further details from this case to come out, it is important to wonder what may have motivated a person to graffiti a Muslim woman’s wall with the name “ISIS,” before proceeding to set it on fire.
What could possibly have made the man equate a widowed mother with possibly the most widely feared terrorist group in the world? What possibly?

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Is it really fear that drives people to harassment, to committing crimes? Or is it a complete disregard to and denial of the human-hood of Muslims? A vilification of an entire religion?

Could it be the Islamophobic advertisements on public transportation? The rampant anti-Islamic commentary on news networks? The gag-inducing word vomit from a certain trumpeting political orange?
I mean, it all adds up after a while, don’t you think? This deluge of hate, of bigotry, it becomes normalized, acceptable even, and it rears its head in nasty ways. Here a Muslim woman is driven out of her home. And here also, I’ll turn on the news and hear more about Islam’s War on the West.
And is it really fear that drives people to harassment, to committing crimes? Or is it a complete disregard to and denial of the human-hood of Muslims? A vilification of an entire religion?
If you truly believed someone was a terrorist, would you really ask them outright?
Hey. Hey, are you ISIS? “(he smiles, stupidly triumphant)
Would you really harass them on the street?
“Terrorist! Go back to your country!” (speeds away in car, laughing)
And, O Arsonist, if you truly believed this woman was a danger to society, would you really risk breaking into her apartment multiple times, let alone paint it with polish and set it on fire? I mean, if she was a terrorist, wouldn’t that be a little, I don’t know, dangerous? Foolish? Unlikely?
Who is terrorizing who in this situation again?

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