569 Islamophobic Attacks in 512 Days

[UPDATED] Hate Crime Watch: 569 Islamophobic Attacks in 512 Days

March, 2016

  1. March 3, 2016 – The Sikh Temple of Spokane, WA, is vandalized by 44-year-old Jeffrey C. Pittman, who told investigators he had initially forced his way into the temple for shelter from the cold before being seized with the impression that it was an ISIS-connected mosque. He destroys a number of holy books, as well as an altar, and causes around $30,000 in damages in total.
  1. March 3, 2016 – 62-year-old Patrick Pietropaolo spits on Yasmeen Alsaker, Sara Ebrahim, and Tania Khaliq, three hijabi college students, after yelling “Why are you staring at me, you f____ Muslim b___.” Nobody else on the train says anything to stop him, but the police finally apprehend him after a short foot chase upon arrival at the Newark Penn Station.
  1. March 7, 2016 – A Buddhist monk pulls over in Hood River, OR, before his door is kicked in. He is hit in the side of the face and has his head knocked into the car’s frame while being sworn at about “F___ing Muslims.”
  1. March 9, 2016 – “I think Islam hates us,” claims Presidential-hopeful Donald Trump in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. This is just the latest of a series of Islamophobic comments made by the candidate, who is currently the front-runner for the Republican nomination.
  1. March 9, 2016 – Two Muslim women are removed from a JetBlue flight after a crew member reports being uncomfortable with how they “were staring back at her.” A fellow passenger catches the incident on film. The airline refuses to apologize, saying that the flight attendant assured them that she had seen one of the women filming the journey.
  1. March 11, 2016 – Khondoker Usama, the student body vice president at Wichita State University in Kansas, walks into a Kwik Shop and sees a white male in his 20s yelling racial slurs at an African American man. The aggressor then turns on Usama and his friend, a Hispanic male, yelling, “Hey you brown trash, you better go home.” The man then begins beating, kicking, and punching the two friends. 911 dispatchers send police to the scene, but not before the attacker jumps on his motorcycle and circles the two friends while yelling “Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump will take our country from you guys!”
  1. March 11, 2016 – 19-year-old Anthony Morales and Matthew Kafker, two students at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, are apprehended after breaking into the university’s chapel and spray-painting homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs, as well as slurs against African Americans, the word “Trump,” and painting lines over photos of Muslim students.
  1. March 11, 2016 – The staff of the Arab American News offices in Dearborn, MI, are working late into the night to meet a deadline when they hear banging noises that sound like gunshots. It is later discovered that two men had been attempting to break into the building by smashing the glass doors to the offices with hammers.
  1. March 12, 2016 – Ibtihaj Muhammad, who will be the first U.S. Olympian to wear the hijab at the Rio Olympics this summer, is told to remove her hijab at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, in addition to being given an ID with the incorrect name.
  1. March 13, 2016 – Days after two Palestinian American brothers, Adam and Jameel Siam – a sophomore and a junior at Williamsville East High School in Amherst, NY, respectively – are suspended for defending themselves from Islamophobic and racial slurs, their home is vandalized. The rocks and eggs thrown at their home come after what they say have been years of bullying. “I was bullied for Osama bin Laden, I’ve been called a terrorist,” says Jameel Siam. “We’ve been called terrorists, go back home and make bombs in your basement, or you’re going to come back and shoot up the school.”
  1. March 17, 2016 – North Attleboro, MA, elected official Paul Couturier resigns after sharing a series of racist and Islamophobic memes on his Facebook page, including one portraying First Lady Michelle Obama as a gorilla and one of a shark that had the caption “Throw me a Muslim.”
  1. March 17, 2016 – The Idaho House State Affairs Committee, which meets in Boise, ID, advances legislation to the House floor to “keep Idaho courts and government agencies from basing rulings on foreign laws” in an implicit attempt to ban Sharia law.
  1. March 20, 2016 – The crew on a United Airlines flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Washington, D.C., kicks Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley and her family of five off the plane, allegedly for being Muslim. United Airlines responded that the removal was over a disagreement about child-seat safety. The family’s legal representation countered that the family had been asked to disembark after simply asking for an extra strap on the child-seat as he had seen an advertisement for it on United’s website.
  1. March 22, 2016 – Presidential-hopeful Senator Ted Cruz of Texas makes a statement in response to the Brussel terrorist attacks calling for police to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
  1. March 22, 2016 – In the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels, the Islamic Center of Omaha, NE, is threatened for the fifth time in the past year, this time via an email reading, “your so called peaceful religion just killed more innocent people. we think its now time to fight back starting with you. believe it. see you in hell.”
  1. March 23, 2016 – A bill to track and register refugees in South Carolina is passed by an enormous margin through the State Senate. The bill also holds sponsors of refugees who commit terrorism equally responsible for the act should it occur.
  1. March 23, 2016 – A woman wearing a hijab is threatened with arrest by Washington, D.C. Public Library Police Officer Timothy Craggette after refusing to remove her hijab. The officer insists he thought it was a hoodie, but even so, there is no library policy against hoodies. Craggette is suspended pending investigation.
  1. March 23, 2016 – A Lyft driver taking two people to a Bernie Sanders rally in Salt Lake City, UT, begins a tirade against Muslims, who he calls “pieces of shit” while driving. The rant is captured by the passengers on video.
  1. March 24, 2016 – Fox News guest host Charles Payne and former presidential-hopeful Ben Carson openly denounce Islam as a religion “born of violence, and it’s been spread through violence and, of course, no succession plan has made it even worse when Muhammad died.” Carson elaborates further that “Islam is not a religion. It’s a lifestyle that doesn’t really allow the separation of religion from politics.”
  1. March 24, 2016The Morning News, a paper based out of Florence, SC, prints an editorial titled “No immigrants of Islamic faith.” The editorial discusses, “Can we not see and understand that Islam is evil and the instrument of Satan? We cannot allow Muslims of the Islamic faith into this country because they cannot pledge allegiance to the flag, Constitution, or the laws of the United States.” He goes on to write that “not one Muslim should be permitted a visa, much less an application for citizenship, without a disavowal of Islam and its evil ways.”
  1. March 24, 2016 – After only just restarting hijab after stopping previously due to fears of intimidation, 13-year-old Nikki Hussein of Hayward, CA, has her hijab pulled off at Cesar Chavez Middle School, and is called a “terrorist.” School officials give a bland response and cite only their focus on implementing their “positive climate and culture” anti-bullying policy
  1. March 24, 2016 – Two Muslims students at Dolan Middle School in Stamford, CT, are questioned by police after fellow students spread a cruel rumor that one of them looks “like the type of kid who would bring in a gun to school and start shooting people.” The school sends a letter calling the incident “a very unsuitable ‘joking’ conversation” to families and saying the children behind the rumor will be disciplined.
  1. March 25, 2016 – Muslims in San Martin, CA, face opposition in the form of an Islamophobic lecture by local protestors and “Islam/Sharia experts” organized by the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots. The lecture, titled “What the Mosque Represents and the Threat of Islam,” is followed up by a blog by another protestor, called “Rural mosque or Trojan horse?”
  1. March 27, 2016 – Conspiracy sites including those such BareNakedIslam.com spread a story about “men with Middle Eastern appearances” wearing “turbans” and screaming “Allahu Akbar” fired guns at a group of hikers in Apple Valley, CA. The FBI responded, but discredited the claims.
  1. March 27, 2016 – 15-year-old Ahmed Mohsin and a friend are yelled at by a random man at a gas station in Coldwater, MI. The man yells, “I’ve been in Fallujah; I’ve killed your motherf___ing kind,” before he yells at the teens that they’re going to die and drives away.
  1. March 27, 2016 – In Grand Rapids, MI, a man walking around the downtown area screams “Kill Muslims! Kill them all!” at a group of Muslims in broad daylight.
  1. March 28, 2016 – The University of California-Riverside’s Department of Ethnic Studies in Riverside, CA, is vandalized during the university’s spring break when someone breaks in and defaces photos of female students, goes through student mailboxes, and rips down a picture of a Palestinian flag.
  1. March 30, 2016 – The Wyoming Tribune Eagle of Cheyenne, WY, publishes an editorial by Robert Shaffer. The letter slanders Islam several times, saying things like “Islam the religion and the Koran itself are evil.” Shaffer continued: “But make no mistake, the end goal of all Muslims is to be the only religion on the planet. The Koran demands this by any means necessary. About their only sin possible toward infidels is not furthering the growth of Islam. Toward us infidels, lying, cheating, stealing, raping and murder are allowed and encouraged if toward the growth of Islam. Most Muslims have this brainwashed into them from birth. I saw 2- and 3-year-olds spit on soldiers, and that was in peaceful areas. Say what you will, but Islam is evil like no other group of any kind, except maybe the Nazis. Not all Muslims are evil, but they all follow an evil book, by an evil man. Mohamed would kick Hitler’s butt.”
  1. March 30, 2016 – At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, “#StopIslam” is found chalked all across campus, as well as “Trump 2016.”
  1. March 30, 2016 – In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke appears on Fox Business Network and says, “We have to get over the notion that these [Muslim communities] are no-go zones,” while speaking in support of Senator Ted Cruz’s idea to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.”
  1. March 31, 2016 – While her class is watching Bend It Like Beckham in her English and Language Arts class at the First Colony Middle School in Sugar Land, TX, a teacher calls 12-year-old Waleed Abushaaban a “terrorist.” Other students join in the harassment, saying that Abushaaban has a bomb. The school district opens an investigation and suspends the teacher.