Police are investigating whether anti-Semitic messages and phrases targeting Islam painted on telephone poles and buildings in the community of Ranchlands meets the threshold of being a hate crime.
“In order for graffiti to cross the line into criminal hate speech, it has to be targeted towards an identifiable group, must be somewhere public and must be likely to lead to harm against those individuals,” Calgary police said in a statement.
Residents say graffiti isn’t new to the area, but the hateful messages are.
“There’s been the odd … kid graffiti kind of stuff, I don’t even know what it says but then this is a whole other thing,” said Glen Tinckler, who has lived in the area for the last 20 years.
“It’s just disheartening in this day and age there’s still people that feel this way and take to expressing it in such an unsightly manner.”
The graffiti was found near the Al-Salam centre — a multi-purpose building for the Muslim community.
Shima Safwat thinks the graffiti could be linked to an open house they’ve been planning for the last three months.
“What’s wrong, what did you see bad from Muslims here to start this kind of hate signs?” she asked. “We have been very open to everybody and we are, you know, offering our friendship to to everyone, so why?”
The open house is scheduled for Saturday.
As of mid-March there were 32 incidents against mosques, compared to 16 last year
Acts of vandalism, violence and aggression towards mosques around the US have doubled so far this year compared to the same period in 2016.
Numbers obtained from the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) show that there have been 32 reported anti-mosque incidents as of mid-March 2015, compared with 16 this time last year.
Of the 2017 number, 11 of those were either arson or vandalism and 19 were threats of violence.
Muslim leaders and advocacy groups have expressed strong concerns about a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric from political leaders and also in anti-Muslim violence, which has risen to post 9/11 levels.
One of the most recent alleged hate crimes was in Tucson, Arizona, where an intruder entered a mosque, ripped up copies of the Quran and scattered the pages around the place of worship.
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is preemptively offering a reward for information, should a fire at a Pittsfield Township mosque be ruled arson.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the fire, reported at 4:59 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at a mosque at 5909 W. Michigan Ave. The address appears to be the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti, which also serves as a mosque, and Pittsfield Township detectives and fire investigators are assisting in the investigation.
Pittsfield Township Fire Chief Sean Gleason said Sunday there was no clear indication either way of whether the fire had a suspicious cause. Given the building’s use as a mosque, the department called ATF.
A Florida man is in custody on arson charges, accused of setting a fire at a convenience store he believed was owned by Muslims who he “wanted to run out of America.”
As frequently occurs in such hate-motivated crimes, authorities confirmed the business was not owned by Muslims, but U.S. citizens of Indian-descent.
Richard Leslie Lloyd, 64, of Fort Pierce, Fla., was arrested outside the Met Mart on Prima Vista Boulevard in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where a Dumpster had been pushed in front of the store’s doorway and set on fire, authorities said.
St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputies, responding to a report of a “suspicious person,” approached the suspect who immediately put his hands behind his back and said “take me away.” He later confessed to deputies his anti-Muslim views motivated him to attempt to burn the business down.
A man suspected of burning down a Texas mosque believed its worshippers were terrorists and may have been looking for other mosques to target, authorities alleged during a hearing pertaining to an unrelated case against the man.
Marq Vincent Perez, 25, hasn’t been charged in the Jan. 28 fire that destroyed the Islamic center in his hometown of Victoria, a community about 125 miles southwest of Houston.
Perez was arrested last week on a charge alleging he tried to set fire to a former friend’s car earlier in January, and during a hearing on March 9, prosecutors presented evidence that Perez was suspected in the fire and an earlier burglary of the mosque in arguing that he be denied bond.
Although prosecutors have repeatedly declined to describe the burning of the mosque as a hate crime, U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington cited testimony about Perez’s “involvement in a hate crime presently being investigated” as a reason for denying him bond.
A man in Salem, Oregon, allegedly spewed epithets while beating an employee of Al Aqsa Fine Middle Eastern Cuisine with a pipe.
Until Tuesday afternoon, Al Aqsa Fine Middle Eastern Cuisine had scarcely received a negative Yelp review, let alone comparisons of its staff to Saddam Hussein. That was, until an area man allegedly burst into the beloved Salem, Washington, restaurant and began striking an employee with a pipe while spewing racial epithets.
Salem police have arrested Jason Kendall, 52, in what they describe as a potential hate crime. Kendall was not a customer at the time of the attack, but allegedly charged the restaurant when he spotted an employee who appeared to be Middle Eastern in the window. After allegedly hurling an “evil totem” at the employee, Kendall accused him of having a weapon and beat him in the head with a pipe while calling the employee a terrorist, police say.
Al Aqsa is a small, family-run restaurant on a tree-lined street near the city center. But when Kendall walked by the restaurant on what he described as a “warrior’s path,” he saw malice behind its windows, a probable cause affidavit obtained by Salem’s Statesman Journal alleges.
WASHINGTON — Hate crimes, including attacks against American Jews and Muslims, spiked in several key U.S. cities in 2016, underscoring an upsurge that started during the presidential campaign and has continued unabated, according to data collected by researchers at California State University, San Bernardino.
Previously unpublished data by the university’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show that hate crimes in at least six major urban centers, including New York City, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, registered double-digit increases last year.
New York City notched an uptick of 24 percent in hate crimes, the highest in over a decade.
New York state had an increase of 20 percent.
Chicago saw a rise of 24 percent, the highest since at least 2010.
Cincinnati, Ohio, saw hate crimes jump by 38 percent.
Columbus, Ohio, reported an increase of nearly 10 percent.
Montgomery County in Maryland, adjacent to the nation’s capital, had an increase of more than 42 percent.
Seattle, Washington, registered an increase of 6 percent in malicious harassment.
While this is preliminary data, based on information provided by state and local law enforcement and government agencies, the findings represent an initial glimpse into trends in hate crimes in 2016.
“I will pay $100 to charity for every Muslim slaughtered.”
WASHINGTON — Two mosques in the US state of Maryland have received threatening letters calling for the ‘slaughter of Muslims’, in apparent hate crime incidents.
Two Islamic centres in Silver Spring and Maryland received violent threats by mail.
The president of the Islamic Education Society discovered an envelope inside a mailbox on Monday containing a threatening note, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said.
Police said this incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The faithful at the mosque are still reeling after the terrifying message was dropped in their mailbox.
“It’s heartbreaking, but we can’t control anything. I don’t know what in their mind they want to do,” Taiyab Mohiudden, trustee of the Islamic Education Society of Maryland, was quoted as saying by CBS Baltimore.