Urgent: Attacks on Places of Worship Increase

Alarming rate of attack is reason for concern

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | August 15, 2012 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), reports a dramatic surge of violent activity and harassment directed at places of worship, less than two weeks after the tragedy that occurred at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In total there have been nearly a dozen cases of attacks and harassment since the Oak Creek shooting. Although none of the subsequent attacks resulted in death or bodily harm, worshippers were still at risk of sustaining serious or fatal injuries.

The attacks and harassment, which are outlined below, were directed at Mosques, Islamic Institutions and Churches. ADC continues to condemn these attacks in the strongest of terms, and calls for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of those responsible. ADC also calls on politicians and public figures who spread xenophobic, bigoted and irresponsible views, to immediately stop.

Within days after Rep. Walsh told a room of people at a town hall meeting that “Islam is a threat,” an assailant launched a homemade MacGyver bomb at The College Preparatory School of America -- A private Islamic school in the 8th Congressional District of Illinois, represented by Rep. Walsh. The bomb exploded outside of the mosque, and did not cause any injuries.

It is not a coincidence that after the remarks by Rep. Walsh were made that there was a homemade bomb directed at an Islamic school in his district. The facts are clear -- By proclaiming to the public that “Muslims are trying to kill Americans every week,” Walsh raised suspicion of the American Muslim community and incited fear. Rep. Walsh is responsible for the assailants' actions, and would have been responsible for any injuries from the attack.

Muslim Americans are not the only ones impacted from the hate and bigotry. Shortly after vandals defaced the Mother of the Savior Church in Dearborn, MI, the Rev. Rani Abdulmasih wrote to ADC stating, “As a Christian Arab and Middle Eastern congregation, we have sensed the profiling in more ways than one. [...] It is unfortunate that racial profiling, bigotry and racism continue to exist and flourish in our beloved country, as we live under a Constitution that