Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Illinois Finds Itself In The Midst Of Increasing Islamophobic Terror. What is to be done?

David M Conrad ((847) 583-9219

5717 Capulina Ave

Morton Grove, IL 60053-3035
David Conrad of Morton Grove, 51, fired shots with a high-velocity air rifle, which is powerful enough to penetrate skin and even to kill, at the Muslim Education Center near his house. Previously, the mosque and community center had it's windows smashed by unknown assailants. The FBI is not investigating, and the matter is being looked into by local police. Conrad has been charged with three counts aggravated discharge of a weapon and one charge of criminal damage to property. He has not been charged with a hate crime.

David has been living adjacent to the mosque for 12 years and causing problems the whole time.

One day later, on August 12th, a 7-Up bottle filled with acid was thrown at a Muslim Institution in Lombard, IL during Ramadan prayers. No one has been taken into custody and it would be impossible for us at South Side ARA to speculate as to who did it, but, for information's sake, there is one neo-Nazi we know of living in Lombard. He is a recruiter for the American Nazi Party (ANP), under the guidance of Paul Kozak.

Tony Ptak (ANP)
634 S Finley Lombard, IL
(702) 493-2817
Home phone: (630) 495-0450
Age: 45
 Taken from 

We have received a tip from Loonwatcher Ali that another Muslim institution was attacked yesterday in a possible hate crime, this time in Lombard, Illinois. The prepetrators hurled a 7-Up bottled filled with acid at the school during Ramadan prayers. This is the second attack in as many days in Illinois and underscores a very quick rise in violence across the country.

This is the full text we received from Ali, apparently a press release from a Chicago based organization known as the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago:

Last night the College Preparatory School of America (CPSA), a full time Islamic school in Lombard IL and a member of the CIOGC had a 7-up bottle with acid and other materials thrown at the school during the night time Ramadan Prayers.   During the prayer worshippers heard a loud bang outside the school and went out to find an empty bottle thrown on the window of the school, there were no injuries.   Lombard police were contacted and a report has been filed, an investigation is in process.

“This is not an isolated incident, a few days ago another CIOGC member institution the Muslim education Center in Morton Grove, IL was also attacked” said CIOGC Associate Director Ahlam Jbara “It is election year and the fear mongering from elected officials such as Representative Joe Walsh creates hate in communities such as Lombard, IL”

Judy Levey, CEO at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs said, “We are deeply concerned about the recent string of events, which violently target faith minorities, and Muslims in particular. Our own Jewish historical experience of being a minority has taught us of the dangers of stereotyping and demonization a vulnerable community. The Jewish community must not, and will not, stay silent.”

On Friday, August 10, 2012 CIOGC held an interfaith press conference calling on Representative Joe Walsh to retract his bigoted statement on Muslim Americans. The faith communities in Illinois stand together against injustices in our State.  We will not tolerate hate mongering; discrimination and personal campaign agenda’s that create division within our communities.

CIOGC urges DHS, Attorney General Office and other authorities to increase protection and investigation of these violent acts on Muslim institutions.

CIOGC urges Muslim institution to take extra precautions, be vigilent and recruit extra security.  Additionally, report the incident immediately to your local police departments and CIOGC.

UPDATE I: CBS confirms the incident

LOMBARD, Ill. (CBS) — An Islamic school in west suburban Lombard is at least the second Muslim institution to report an attack this past weekend.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago says the College Preparatory School of America, an Islamic school at 331 W. Madison St. in Lombard, was subjected to vandalism on Sunday night.

The council says someone hurled a 7-Up bottle filled with acid and other unspecified materials at the school during the nighttime Ramadan prayers.

During the prayer session, worshipers heard a loud bang and went to find an empty bottle thrown on the window of the school. No one was injured.

No one was in custody as of just before noon Monday, and there were on suspects, Lombard police told CBS 2. 
In the past month there has been a string of Islamophobic attacks, one in which 6 were killed.

Arson attack on Mosque in Joplin, Missouri. Taken from CHI News Service:

A mosque burned early Monday in a fire described as suspicious, just a month after an arsonist set fire to the building's roof.

  Muslims left the Joplin Islamic Society after Ramadan prayers about 11:20 p.m., said Imam Lahmuddin, the society's religious leader. A passerby reported the fire four hours later.

“It was really burning when we got here,” said Bill Dunn, fire chief in Carl Junction, the city just north of Joplin where the mosque is located. “The fire got inside and broke through the roof.”

Dunn said the fire is suspicious, though investigators cannot yet prove it was arson. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms retrieved a surveillance video box, which they are sending to the FBI for analysis, he said.

The blaze happened a little more than a month after a man attempted to set fire to the building. The man has not been identified, but his image was caught on surveillance cameras on the morning of July 4. There is a $15,000 reward for information leading to arson charges.

The FBI also investigated the torching of a sign at the mosque in 2008. That arson was never solved.

“This should not stop us from serving God,” said Lahmuddin. “We still have to fulfill our obligation. We will do our prayer in other places. If we don’t find a place, we will do our prayers in our home."

The fire happened in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan, which Muslims mark with fasting. Many make more frequent visits to the mosque for daily prayers during the month.

Omar Ahmed, 15, said some local Muslims stay at the mosque overnight during Ramadan, but no one was there at the time of the fire. He arrived about 5 a.m. to the mosque surrounded in pillars of smoke..
There were also pigs feet left at a house used as a mosque in Ontario, CA and a shooting by a white supremacist (Wade Michael Page) that left six dead at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Sikhism is actually a south Asian religion unrelated to Islam, but we believe that it's possible Wade may have thought it was an attack on Muslims given the context of current events and the trend of idiocy amongst a good portion of the white supremacist scene.  There is also a pretty sick Zionist advertisement on the buses in San Fransisco , but the US is not the only place where Islamophobia is intensifying; In Stockholm, Sweden on August 4th, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and the EDL staged a poorly attended anti-Islam rally where they were severely outnumbered by the opposition.

On August 8, 2012, Rep. Joe Walsh, at a town hall meeting in Elk Grove Village said there is “One thing I’m sure of is that there are people in this country – there is a radical strain of Islam in this country – it’s not just over there – trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11,” and “It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin. It’s here."

Another story of interest can be found in Murfreesboro, TN, where a mosque facing Islamophobic opposition finally opened for worship.

Taken from Fox news:
In a suburb 30 miles south of Nashville, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has faced legal challenges and illegal threats over the past two years. 

Shortly after construction began in 2010, a vandal spray-painted the phrase "not welcome" on a sign announcing the new mosque. Federal investigators were called in after an arson fire destroyed excavating equipment at the site. And members of the congregation said they received threatening letters, phone calls and emails. 

Residents opposing the mosque filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to block its construction by claiming that Islam was not a real religion and that Muslims intended to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia Law. 

Construction nearly halted in May when a local judge ruled that Rutherford County officials had failed to provide sufficient notice of the meeting in which the building was approved. But U.S. attorneys intervened, arguing that the county judge had created a separate standard for the Islamic Center. A federal judge ruled in favor of the mosque.
 Our thoughts?

In some of these cases there are suspects or arrests, in others, no leads at all. Some would find the latter of outcomes to be a failure. Even those of us in South Side ARA, who have far more fundamental critiques of the state, find it interesting that in the case of Conrad there is no hate crime charge.

We see relying on the state to deal with this issue as a major mistake. Not simply because of the failure to call David Conrad's attack a hate crime. We know that such a charge would hardly deal with the source of the sickness. It is a mistake for far more fundamental reasons.  The state couldn't give a fuck less about the nature of the attacks outside of the fact that lack of arrests may threaten their perceived legitimacy, and will not help further the justification for their existence. Lets not forget the state-sanctioned xenophobic repression of Arab-Americans, Muslims, and Middle Easterners in the US post-911, the criminalization of their identity.

The State's approach, regardless of their incentive, is purely reactionary rather than preventative. How are they attacking Islamophobia?

We must monitor the far right, the white supremacists, the fascists. These are the type of people or ideologies that are creating these attacks. Police organizations such as the FBI may monitor these individuals and groups but without concrete evidence of illegal doings, and so long as there are no whispers of anti-State rhetoric (because we know when the State feels challenged law need not apply), not much will happen. We must challenge them based on their ideology and organizing efforts rather than simply wait for them to act in an "illegal" or hostile manner.

We advocate taking the fight directly to the fascists.  Disrupting white nationalist organizing efforts, be they propaganda or action, directly challenges the State's role as mediator in social affairs.  We should also not be shocked or surprised by the violent outbursts of white supremacists like Michael Wade Page, considering the genocidal bent that is the basis of their ideology.  While there is no way to prevent all violent outbursts and attacks by white supremacists, stopping their organizing prevents them from spreading their ideas and slows the recruitment of new members filling their ranks.

Stop being shocked or saddened. Get pissed and get wild!

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