A prominent New York Shi’ite mosque with a branch in Pakistan and three homes were firebombed Sunday night No one was injured.
Police are treating the attacks as hate crimes. One of the Molotov cocktails set a house on fire. Its residents are African-American Christians. Another home that was targeted is occupied by a Hindu family, The New York Post reported.
One firebomb exploded inside the Al-lman School in the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica, Queens. Approximately 80 people were inside the mosque center when two or three Molotov cocktails, at least one made from a Starbucks bottle, were thrown at the building. Damage was minimal.
The attacks in New York came less than a week after the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, “We are witnessing an unprecedented increase in rhetorical and physical attacks on the American Muslim community and Islam.”
It said that mosques have been targeted in arson and attacks and by vandals in more than a dozen states, stretching from California to New York, including the Midwest and southern states.
A Tennessee legislator has called for banning Muslims from the military. More than a dozen people were killed by a Muslim army officer last year in a shooting attack at a Texas army base two years ago.
As President Barack Obama gears up for re-election, the Muslim community in the United States is no guard against anti-Islamic sentiment. Obama is a self-professed Christian although raised by a Muslim father. He earned praise from Muslims worldwide but criticism from radical Islamists and from American non-Muslims for his “reaching out to Muslims” speech in Cairo in June 2009.
Americans, who are deeply sensitive to anyone imposing religion on civil laws, are increasingly outraged against suggestions by some Muslims to introduce Sharia law in their communities.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has said that he favors “a federal law that says Sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States."