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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Anti-Muslim violence spiralling out of control in America


Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy was arrested for attempting to cover an anti-Muslim ad in the subway [AP]
Sen was pushed to death by a woman who "hated Muslims", as anti-Muslim bigotry in the US sinks to violent new depths.
Murtaza Hussain
Al Jazeera
Jan 01, 2012
On the evening of December 27, an Indian immigrant to America named Sunando Sen was pushed by a stranger onto the subway tracks in New York City and struck and killed by an oncoming train. Sen had called New York home for years, and after years of hard work and struggle had recently managed to achieve his lifelong goal ofopening a small business of his own, a copy shop in Upper Manhattan.


His roommate, MD Khan expressed shock at the death of his friend, a soft spoken man who liked to stay up late watching comedy shows and listening to music: "He was so nice, gentle and quiet… It's broken my heart."

"I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims… Ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers, I've been beating them up."
The following day, the NYPD announced the arrest of Erika Menendez, a 31-year-old woman who had been spotted on security footage fleeing the scene after Sen had been pushed. Upon being detained and taken to a 112th Precinct police station for questioning, Menendez confessed to Sen's murder and revealed as her motivation a desire to commit violence against Muslims. 
As she told detectives:
Sunando Sen was not a Muslim, but as a brown-skinned foreigner living in the United States, he was targeted and killed in an act of hate which is the by-product of an ongoing campaign of bigotry and demonisation against Muslims living in America. 

Muslim-Americans, as well as HindusSikhs and others who purportedly "look Muslim" have been humiliated,assaulted and in many cases murdered by individuals often galvanised to violence by politicians and media figures who have enthusiastically engaged in public hatemongering against the Muslim community in the country. 

Anti-Muslim violence increases 

The 9/11 attacks precipitated a surge in hate crimes, but even as the events themselves recede further into history, the level of hatred and violence directed at Muslim communities is paradoxically increasing. Within the past month, in New York alone, police have suspected racial hatred as being the motive behind several crimes.  

This includes a string of murders specifically targetingMiddle Eastern storekeepers in Brooklyn, the last of whom, a 78-year old Iranian immigrant named Rahmatollah Vahidipour, was shot to death while closing his boutique and whose lifeless body was then dragged to a backroom and covered over with merchandise from his store. 

Within the same week as Vahidipour's murder another Muslim man was viciously beaten by two men who preceded their attack by asking him whether he was "a Hindu or a Muslim", while another man was stabbed several times outside of a mosque in a random attack by an assailant who screamed "I'm going to kill you Muslim", while repeatedly plunging a knife into his victims' body. 

The US election cycle also saw Muslims used as convenient targets for politicians seeking office, with one example being incumbent Illinois House of Representatives Republican Joe Walsh who told a cheering crowd at a campaign rally that "Muslims are here trying to kill Americans everyday", before making a baseless and highly incendiary claim that radical Islam had "infiltrated" the Chicago suburbs and that Muslims there were planning an attack that would "make 9/11 look like child's play".Far from being aberrations, these incidents are in line with national statistics which show anti-Muslim violence in America nearing record highs, a trend which comes in tandem with highly public campaigns against mosque construction as well as fear-mongering by politicians and media figures regarding alleged plots by Muslim-Americans to override the constitution and impose Islamic law on the country.
Read the complete story at Al Jazeera

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