Muslim group: Republican ‘Islamophobia machine’ encouraging violent attacks

(Via IslamophobiaToday.com)

Muslim group: Republican ‘Islamophobia machine’ encouraging violent attacks

Following an acid bomb being hurled at a Muslim school in the Chicago suburb of Lombard, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) told Raw Story that the number of attacks on American Muslims has escalated recently due in part to the Republican Party’s “Islamophobia machine” encouraging a tiny minority of extremists toward increasingly violent behaviors.

About 50 people were inside the Lombard school building for Ramadan prayers when the acid bomb exploded, according to area media. The unknown attacker reportedly filled a 7-Up bottle with acid and other materials, then threw it at a window. Nobody was injured, but worshipers said they heard a loud explosion when the bomb went off. CAIR asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Tuesday morning to immediately begin searching for the individual responsible.

For Illinois Muslims, Monday night’s acid bombing marks the second attack on a Muslim-affiliated installation in less than a week. Police arrested 51-year-old David Conrad last weekend after he allegedly opened fire on a mosque in Morton Grove, Illinois, narrowly missing a security guard as worshipers prayed inside. The FBI said it would leave the investigation of the mosque shooting to local law enforcement.

“I don’t know what’s going on, other than it being the month of Ramadan with heightened activity at mosques nationwide,” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, told Raw Story. “I think most of these things are related to the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society, generated by a well financed Islamophobia machine… The same kind of people cited by [Norway mass murderer] Anders Breivik in his manifesto.”

The shooting incident occurred just hours after Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a tea party favorite, told an audience that Muslims are “much more” of a threat to Americans than ever before, adding that people of the Islamic faith are “trying to kill Americans every week.” His comments followed a conspiracy theory spun by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), who called for an investigation into whether Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is secretly controlling an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a Democratic member of Congress.

Though some well known Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) criticized Bachmann’s call for an anti-Muslim witch-hunt, many Republican Party leaders defended it, including a top spokesman for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Both recent attacks in Illinois appear to be part of a growing emergence of extreme anti-Islamic sentiment across the country.

Just two months ago in Dearborn, Michigan, a group of Christian missionaries hijacked an Arab-American festival, walking through it carrying a pig’s head on a pike and signs insulting the Prophet Mohammed. In California last week, an unknown person hurled pig feet at the site of a proposed mosque. In Rhode Island one week ago, a vandal smashed the sign in front of Masjid Al-Islam in North Smithfield. In Oklahoma on Sunday, vandals fired paintballs at the doors of the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City. And a suspicious fire that destroyed a mosque in Joplin, Missouri — the second suspicious blaze there in about a month — is still under investigation.

In the wake of these events, CAIR advised Muslim-American communities to begin taking their security more seriously. The group recommended installing video surveillance at mosques and schools, asking for additional police patrols, meeting with elected officials, documenting suspicious people and making off-side backups of important records.

“Whenever you have people with some measure of respect in society smearing Muslims and Islam, it’s going to have a negative impact in terms of these kinds of incidents,” Hooper concluded. “[They should] act responsibly and tone down this anti-Muslim rhetoric. Unfortunately, it seems that Islamophobia is now a plank of the Republican Party’s political platform. It’s really disturbing. When I get a call about another incident of anti-Muslim hatred by an elected official, I don’t even have to ask what party they’re from. It’s always the Republican Party.”
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Rep. Joe Walsh: Muslims “trying to kill Americans”

Rep. Joe Walsh has a history of bigoted anti-Islam and anti-Muslim statements. In a recent town hall the Congressman didn’t even have the decency to correct a man in the crowd who described Islam as a “dangerous” threat to the USA,

“I’m looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam in America without political correctness,” the man said.  “Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about.”

The line was met with applause.

Perhaps he was fearful of doing the right thing, considering all of the applause that the crowd member received. If that is the case Walsh is not only an appeaser of bigotry but also an amoral coward.

Instead, Walsh stoked the populist flames of anti-Muslim sentiments further to a crowd that clearly wasn’t able to differentiate between extremists and the vast majority of Muslims,

Walsh responded by asserting that radical Muslims are “trying to kill Americans every week,” and that “it’s not a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’” a 9/11-like attack will happen again.

“All I can tell you about the ‘when’ is, the people who would want to do this to America are trying to get their hands on weapons that will make 9/11 look like child’s play.”

Added Walsh: “So we had better be alert to this.  And as [the audience member] said … ‘Enough with political correctness!”

The crowd, which was mostly white, applauded.

This fear-mongering and over exaggeration of the threat from Islamist extremists is exactly what we don’t need from politicians. It promotes ignorance, bigotry, sectarianism and divisiveness.

Walsh: Muslims “trying to kill Americans”

by Eric Lutz (Salon.com)

U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh went on another anti-Islam tirade Wednesday, calling for an end to “political correctness” in dealing with the “radical strain of Islam” he described as an imminent danger to America.

“It’s a real threat,” Walsh said at a town hall meeting in Elk Grove Village, Ill.  “And it’s a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11.”

“It’s here,” he continued, referring to “radical Islam” in the suburbs of Chicago. “It’s in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, it’s in Elgin. It’s here.”

The remarks — captured on tape — came in response to an Egyptian-American audience member who said Muslims are taking over America and charged the freshman congressman to take a more aggressive stance against the religion.

“I’m looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam in America without political correctness,” the man said.  “Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about.”

The line was met with applause.

Walsh responded by asserting that radical Muslims are “trying to kill Americans every week,” and that “it’s not a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’” a 9/11-like attack will happen again.

“All I can tell you about the ‘when’ is, the people who would want to do this to America are trying to get their hands on weapons that will make 9/11 look like child’s play.”

Added Walsh: “So we had better be alert to this.  And as [the audience member] said … ‘Enough with political correctness!”

The crowd, which was mostly white, applauded.

“Can you say ‘Fort Hood’?” Walsh continued, referring to the 2009 shooting at the Texas military base that left 13 dead and 29 wounded.  A report concluded the shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, was a homegrown terrorist.

“Your government was so afraid of doing its job, so afraid of offending Islam, that right in front of our noses, they saw what was happening at Fort Hood and because the government’s politically correct, Americans died.”

The Tea Party Republican, who serves on the Homeland Security Committee, has been known for his incendiary remarks since winning his House seat in 2010. He set off a media firestorm last month when he appeared to question the heroism of his opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war vet who lost both her legs in combat.

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