In a continuation of a theme I have been exploring recently, I’m going to be posting again on the need to re-examine and change our perception of what constitutes terrorism and terrorists. I also want to give further exposure to the frequency of Islamophobic incidents in the West. In doing so it should become obvious that the atrocity perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway last week isn’t a one off, and didn’t come out of the blue. Far right and Islamophobic terrorism have been taking place on our doorstep for decades, but I bet you’d struggle to think of five incidents off the top of your head. Ask anyone about terrorism in Britain and they’ll reel off IRA bombings in London, Guilford, Brighton, Birmigham and Manchester, the 7/7 attacks on London, the Locherbie disaster and possibly the Iranian Embassy Siege. After that it gets a bit more taxing. Unless we see passenger planes falling from the sky or the aftermath of suicide bombings, it’s just not terrorism is it? Let’s look at a selection of definitions.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged
The systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.
The Terrorism Act 2000.
(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where-
(a) the action falls within subsection (2),
(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [, racial] or ideological cause.
(2) Action falls within this subsection if it-
(a) involves serious violence against a person,
(b) involves serious damage to property,
(c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,
(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or
(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.
(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.
Critical reflections on definitions, causes and media-views on terrorism and anti-terrorism measures – Prof. Dr. P. Hebberecht
In the many definitions we have, we could identify some characteristics that occur more or less in each definition: (threat of) violent actions, political, ideological or religious motives, actions to influence the behaviour (of civilians or dissidents) or decisions (of the government) by spreading fear with mostly a civilian target. Civilians as well as nations can commit these violent actions.
So, in summary terrorism could be defined as the use of, or the threat of unlawful violence against a person or damage to a property, with the intention of intimidating or coercing a government or society, for political, religious, racial or ideological goals. With that in mind I’ll list just a small percentage of far right and Islamophobic attacks of a terroristic nature.
United Kingdom – Damage or threats to Property
18/06/11 – Various –Race-hate parcels containing fake anthrax have been sent to five mosques. Far-right extremists have been blamed for sending the packages, one of which contained an “offensive drawing and words about the Prophet Muhammad”.
22/04/11 – High Wycombe – Vandals have attacked 20 Muslim graves at a cemetery in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
12/01/11 – Hemel Hemsted – A MOSQUE was left with around a dozen windows damaged after it was targeted in a racially-motivated attack.
22/09/10 – Cambridge – A severed pig’s head has been left outside a mosque in Cambridge – triggering alarm among the city’s Muslims.
25/06/10 – Scunthorpe – Scunthorpe’s Muslim community leaders have expressed their outrage after 11 Muslim graves in Brumby Cemetery were vandalised for the second time in 21 months and the third time in four years.
21/05/10 – Paisley – A FRIGHTENING attack by a gang of hooded thugs on an Islamic centre was last night being treated by police as racist.
16/0/10 – Eccles – Vandals carried out two attacks in one night on a mosque. They were captured on camera as they removed fencing and threw bricks through the windows. The vandalism is the latest in a spate of racially-motivated attacks on the premises in Liverpool Road, Eccles.
22/03/10 – Leeds – Nineteen gravestones have been vandalised in a section of a Leeds cemetery used by Muslims.
29/12/09 – Cradley Heath – CRADLEY Heath’s Muslim community is appealing for help after its mosque was burnt to the ground by arsonists. A fire engulfed the Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre in Plant Street on Boxing Day. It is the second time in five years that the building has been targeted by arsonists.
28/11/09 – Manchester – Vandals have targeted Muslim graves at a south Manchester cemetery for the third time in two months. More than 20 headstones at the Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road were pushed over in what police are treating as a racially-motivated attack.
18/10/09 – Sunderland – A 53-year-old man has been charged after petrol was thrown at the doorway of a mosque in Wearside. The man, from Peterborough, is due before magistrates on Monday charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life with racial aggravation.
03/07/09 – Glasgow – A man who threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Neil MacGregor also threatened to kill a Muslim a day until all mosques in Scotland were closed. The court heard that the e-mail read: “I’m a proud racist and National Front member.
18/06/09 – Greenwich – A brave caretaker was hurt as he risked his life to save a mosque torched by arsonists in the second petrol bomb attack in a week.
06/05/09 – Bishop’s Stortford – Bishop’s Stortford’s Muslims are living in “distress, fear and isolation” after their mosque was attacked by hammer-wielding thugs who abused and intimidated their religious leader.
09/05/09 – Luton – Police sought to calm fears yesterday that a suspected arson attack on an Islamic centre in Luton was revenge for the picketing of homecoming British troops by Muslim extremists in March.
17/12/08 – Southend – A MUSLIM leader fears for the safety of his family, after attacks on a mosque and his flat next door. The gang of teenagers have repeatedly targeted the Essex Jamme Masjid mosque, in Chelmsford Avenue, Southend. Teenagers also smashed the front door windows at his home.
15/08/08 – Scunthorpe – The Mayor of North Lincolnshire today branded the desecration of more than 20 Muslim graves as devastating. The gravestones have been vandalised in two separate areas of Brumby cemetery, and nearly 10 of the damaged graves were of children and babies.
27/0/07 – Nottingham – Nottingham police are reassuring the Muslim community after a serious fire was started at Madni Masjid Mosque on Alberta Terrace in Forest Fields, on April 5.
25/05/07 – Preston – A Preston mosque at the centre of a planning row has been hit by a series of vandal attacks. Windows at the Masjid-e-Salaam mosque in Fulwood have been smashed three times in the past six weeks.
13/03/07 – Stirling – THUGS threw bottles of Buckfast through the windows of a mosque while worshippers prayed inside, it emerged yesterday. About 30 people were inside the mosque at the time. Three men in their early 20s were seen running away.
29/09/06 – Newport – A pig’s head was found dumped outside a mosque in south Wales hours before the holy festival of Ramadan began, police have said.
01/03/06 – Enfield – The discovery of a bloody pig’s head impaled on railings outside Ponders End mosque has sent shock waves through the community.
07/01/06 – Birmingham – A mosque has been burgled and then deliberately set on fire.
19/11/05 – Chester – An arson attack at a mosque in Chester could have been racially motivated, police have said.
11/03/05 – Worthing – A VICAR’S adopted son has been found guilty of burgling and setting fire to a Worthing mosque.
19/03/04 – London – On the morning of Thursday 18th March, at least 40 Muslim graves were found to have been desecrated at Charlton cemetery in Plumstead, South East London.
02/05/03 – Reading – Jame Mosque in Reading was attacked in the early hours of Friday morning in the latest Islamophobic incident to afflict the country’s 1.6 million Muslim community.
14/11/01 – Belfast – Bricks have been thrown at the mosque in south Belfast. The attack came as some in the Irish Republic’s 15,000 strong Muslim community expressed concern about a possible backlash against them following Tuesday’s terror attacks in the US.
United Kingdom – Violence or threats against a person
10/11/09 – London – Youths have attacked a man outside a mosque in the same London suburb where an OAP was allegedly murdered by youths as he left a mosque. He suffered head injuries in what police describe as a racial attack.
31/08/09 – London – 67-year-old man of Indian origin died succumbing to his injuries, a week after a shocking race attack by a gang of schoolboys outside a mosque in south London. The attack took place when Kolkata-born Ekram ul Haque returning from a local mosque on August 31 was battered to the ground in front of his five-year-old grand-daughter.
13/08/07 – London – A Muslim cleric is in a serious condition in hospital after being attacked in a London mosque. He suffered heavy blood loss, damage to both eyes, and had to undergo emergency surgery, a Muslim Council of Britain spokesman said.
03/11/06 – Preston – Gangs of white youths threw stones at a mosque and an Asian boy was stabbed in “racially motivated” street violence, police have said. Muslims praying heard stones hitting their cars outside the Jamia Masjid mosque in Preston, Lancashire.
11/07/06 – Rhyl – A mosque has had to close after an 29-year-old assistant imam was attacked after being racially abused on his way to morning prayers.
13/02/08 – Edinburgh – A 32-year-old woman who stabbed an Asian teenager she called a terrorist has been jailed for six years.
13/07/11 – Fife – A Fife drug addict who assaulted a Muslim woman by pulling a burka from her head has been sent to jail.
15/07/11 – Kilmarnock – The 71-year-old Asian man was discovered with serious facial injuries around 0130 hrs on Friday 15 July 2011 outside the Community Mosque in Hill Street, Kilmarnock.
05/07/11 – Dagenham – an attack on two Muslim bystanders during an anti-Muslim march in Dagenham by the far-right group, the English Defence League. Six of the EDL members then launched a violent attack on the two men, throwing them to the ground where they were kicked and punched repeatedly. Both men sustained multiple injuries and one of the victims was hospitalised.
16/05/11 – Hull – DOZENS of police officers had to be drafted into the city centre when a flash protest was organised by a far-right group. The second was in Spring Bank, when a man in his 30s was detained after an attack on a car full of Asian men.
06/05/11 – Lincoln – Daniel Odling, 26, is on trial accused of religiously aggravated threatening behaviour, alongside a 17-year-old man charged with assaulting PC Rizwaan Chothia, again religiously motivated. EDL member.
21/04/11 – North Cheam – A gang of schoolgirls attacked a Muslim woman after mocking her for wearing a headscarf. One of the girls kicked her, before she crossed the road in an attempt to get away. The girls caught up with the victim, kicked her again, and during a struggle to remove the victim’s headscarf, kicked her again after she fell to the ground.
13/04/11 – London – An Iranian Muslim girl has reportedly come under attack in Britain after refusing to remove her hijab amid a new wave of Islamophobia in Western countries. Zahra sustained facial injuries in the encounter, which is not the first act of violence against a Muslim in Europe.
06/04/11 – Redbridge – The first thing Abdul Wahab heard, he says, was the shouting. “Muslim bastards; Paki bastards.” One brick, Abdul says, struck the imam, who was also injured by flying glass. He had to go to hospital. By then at least, the terror was over and the assailants were gone.
10/05/09 – Ranby Prison– A bomb made by jail inmates to blow up Muslim prisoners came within moments of exploding outside a prayer meeting. The device, made with fireworks and detonators smuggled in with a fishing rod, was put in a room where worshippers wash their hands and feet for Friday prayers. A prison source said: “This could have caused a bloodbath. It was only because of a vigilant officer that the bomb was carried away. When the bomb squad got to the jail they went mad as it could have gone off at any time.”
United Kingdom – Far Right Terrorists
Robert Cottage: former BNP candidate. The police claimed to have recovered chemical components which could be used to make explosives. They believe it is the largest haul ever discovered in someone’s home in England.
David John Copeland: is a former member of the British National Party and the National Socialist Movement, who became known as the “London Nail Bomber” after a 13-day bombing campaign in April 1999 aimed at London’s black, Bangladeshi and gay communities. 3 dead, 139 injured.
Tony Lecomber: was convicted and imprisoned for three years for five offences under the Explosives Act after he tried to blow up the offices of a political party. Police found hand grenades and detonators at his home. Despite this the BNP kept him on its payroll for over ten years.
Allen Boyce and Terry Collins: In July 2006 Allen Boyce, a BNP supporter, received a two-year suspended sentence for providing Terry Collins, a BNP activist, with bomb making instructions. Collins himself was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in 2005 for conducting a racist terror campaign against the Asian community in Eastbourne.
Mark Bullman: arsonist Mark Bulman, a BNP activist, was jailed for five years in January after trying to set fire to Swindon’s Broad Street mosque. He used a BNP leaflet as a fuse for his petrol bomb.
Martyn Gilleard: has been found guilty of making bombs for a far-right terrorist campaign, after having previously admitted downloading thousands of images of child sexual abuse. Officers found machetes, swords, bullets, gunpowder and racist literature. Most sinister of all were four home-made nail bombs stashed under his bed. He wrote of starting a “racial war” and murdering Muslims.
Michael Heaton: Hardcore neo-Nazi EDL forum moderator, Wigan Mike has been arrested on terror offences. Real name Michael Heaton of Leigh, National Front and British Freedom Fighters member “Wigan Mike” has helped organise many EDL and WDL demos, and was photographed amongst the crowd of Hitler saluters during the WDL’s recent visit to Wales.
Tevor Hannington: from Hirwaun, Cynon valley in south Wales, was described as a loner by the judge, who told him: “You are a long-standing racist who has never hidden your views, which are violent and vicious in the extreme. Flags bearing swastikas were strewn around Hannington’s house and police found a personal armoury including an air rifle and daggers. Hannington also admitted owning the Anarchist’s Cookbook, Kitchen Complete and The Terrorist Encyclopaedia, all of which are considered useful tools to someone preparing or committing an act of terrorism.
Ian and Nicky Davison: When officers saw a video of pipe bombs being detonated, they raided Davison’s house in Myrtle Grove, Burningfield, Durham. During a search they found that he had bought castor beans from America and several other items which together constituted a recipe for the deadly toxin, ricin. They say they found enough of it in a jar in his kitchen to kill up to 15 people. Davison later became the first person in Britain to be jailed under the Chemical Weapons Act when he got 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court. His son was jailed for two years after being found guilty of possessing terrorist manuals.
Neil Lewington: A racist arrested by chance at a railway station was “on the cusp” of waging a terror campaign using tennis balls and weedkiller, a jury has heard. Later searches of Mr Lewington’s home revealed a notebook entitled “Waffen SS UK members’ handbook” which contained drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures, jurors were told. Mr Lewington had an “unhealthy interest” in the London nail bomber David Copeland, America’s Unabomber and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the court heard.
Terence Gavan: A former BNP member who turned his bedroom in his mother’s house into a bomb and weapons factory has been jailed for 11 years. West Yorkshire Police entered the property with a search warrant as part of a firearms investigation in May 2009, they were to discover the largest cache of home-made bombs and other weapons ever seen in the region. The Old Bailey heard he had a “strong hostility” towards immigrants. Among his possessions was a list of names, including a neighbour of one of the 7/7 bombers, which the court heard he was planning to target. A note in one of several handwritten notebooks found in the room read: “Patriots must always be ready to defend his country against enemies and their governments.”
Simon Beech: A former soldier has appeared in court charged in connection with an arson attack at a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent. Simon Beech, 23, of Hartshill Road in the city, denied arson with intent to endanger life, committing arson recklessly and criminal damage. A fire began at the Regent Road mosque in Hanley yesterday morning. Police – who found that a gas pipe from a neighbouring building had been fed through the mosque window – said the incident was being treated as “a racist attack on a religious building”. EDL member.
John Laidlaw: A man with a racist past has been jailed for life after going on a shooting spree in north London. Gunman John Laidlaw had a history of violence and once vowed he would kill all black people. After he was arrested for a racist attack, he told police he hated all black people and was a member of the British National Party. He shot Abu Kamara in Upper Street before accidentally shooting Emma Sheridan at Finsbury Park Tube station, as he aimed at a second man.
Other notable incidents in Europe:
Apeldoorn, Netherlands – 01/05/09 – Would-be Assassin of the Dutch Royal family at a parade in Apeldoorn, including head of state Queen Beatrix of Holland has been named as a victim of economic and financial hard times, Richard Tates. An injured Richard Karst Tates was pulled from the wreckage of his Suzuki Swift car after it had plowed though a dense crowd and onto the parade rout of the Dutch Royal family, killing five and wounding more than a dozen and narrowly missing a bus carrying many members of the Royal Family on national holiday, Queensday.
Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands – 09/04/11 – 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis shot several people and then killed himself, reportedly with a different firearm. There were seven deaths, including the killer, and 17 wounded, making it the deadliest incident in the Netherlands since the 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal Family. He was a voter of PVV, Geert Wilders’ party.
Bratislava, Slovakia – 30/08/10 – eight people (including the perpetrator Ľubomír Harman) died and at least 17 were injured after a lone gunman opened fire in Devínska Nová Ves district in a suburb of the Slovak capital, Bratislava. The shooting spree took place both inside a local panel building and later in the street outside.
Berlin, Germany – 08/01/11 – Police in Berlin are investigating an arson attack on a mosque in the capital city. The last six months of last year saw six such attacks – the Shitlik mosque on Columbiadamm was attacked in June, twice in August and again in November, while the Neukölln Al-Nur mosque was attacked in November and an Islamic cultural centre in Tempelhof was targeted in December.
Dordrecht, Netherlands – 14/10/10 – The mosque belonging to the Turkish community in the Merwedestraat in Dordrecht has been shot at. The bullet hit an outside door. A number of people were present in the mosque, but were not harmed. The police has no indication of who committed the crime and what the motives could be.
Groningen, Netherlands – 28/11/10 – Arsonists tried to set fire to a mosque in Groningen on Monday night, and daubed the walls with the text ‘don’t make us evil’, news agency ANP reports. In March, the same mosque was smeared with blood and the head of a wild boar was dumped outside.
Fredrikstadt, Norway – 20/08/10 – Members of the Islamic community in Fredrikstad saw red when a swastika and “Allah is a [picture of a pig]” were painted on the mosque in the city center.
Malmo, Sweden – 02/01/11 – As of New Year’s Eve evening, police had no suspects for an attack against a mosque in Malmö earlier in the day when shots had been fired through the window of the building.
Normandy, France – 15/07/10 – The police opened an investigation on Thursday after vandals left swastikas and anti-Islam slogans on a mosque in northern France. The slogans, like “Islam out of Europe” and “neither Islam nor Burqas,” along with swastikas and Celtic crosses, were found Wednesday on the wall of a partly constructed mosque in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, a suburb of Caen, Normandy.
Stromsund, Sweden – 22/08/08 – A man in his twenties has been arrested on suspicion of setting fire to a mosque in Strömsund, northern Sweden. Police are classifying the attack as a hate crime.
Lyon, France – 25/08/08 – Acts of vandalism representing in particular a Nazi inscription and fire of the toilets were committed yesterday in a Muslim prayer hall in Meyzieu, in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, the police and the municipality announced today.
Toulouse, France – Ten members of a neo-Nazi group have been convicted for an April mosque burning outside of Toulouse and sentenced to prison terms up to 18 months. The entrance hall of the Colomiers mosque was set afire before dawn and the room reserved for ritual washing was vandalized.
Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, France – 06/04/08 – Vandals have struck a cemetery in northern France, defacing the graves of dozens of Muslim First World War soldiers. A French prosecutor says 148 graves at the cemetery at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire have been sprayed with anti-Islam slogans. A severed pigs head was found at the cemetery, along with graffiti singling out the French justice minister, who is of North African origin.
Zurich, Switzerland – 13/11/07 – A gunman used a military assault rifle to fire on a dozen worshipers at an Islamic centre at the Swiss city of Lausanne late on Monday, injuring one seriously, police said on Tuesday, November 13. “He injured one person seriously before worshipers immobilised him on the ground,” according to a police statement cited by Reuters.
Lombardy, Italy – 25/10/07 – A mosque in a small town outside Milan has been the target of a violent attack – the eighth on mosques in the region of Lombardy surrounding the city. Italian media reports said the Alif Baa Islamic Centre, in the northern Italian city of Abbiategrasso, 20 kilometres west of Milan, was subjected to fresh violence on Wednesday. Witnesses said a masked man was seen throwing a Molotov cocktail inside the courtyard of the mosque from his motorcycle in the late afternoon.
Ceuta, Spain – 18/04/06 – An arson attack over the Easter weekend on a Muslim sanctuary in the Spanish city of Ceuta marked another step in what some experts fear is a growing incidence of Islamophobia in the country. The burning of the Sidi Bel Abbas sanctuary comes just three months after another sanctuary in the enclave was attacked by arsonists.
Banja Luka, Bosnia – 04/03/06 – Unknown vandals desecrated a four-century-old Muslim cemetery in a Bosnian Serb town, destroying more than 20 gravestones, AFP quoted police as saying on Saturday.
Esbjerb, Denmark – 13/02/06 – About 25 Muslim graves in western Denmark were vandalized late Saturday night, bringing swift condemnation from Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Yakhroma, Russia – 05/07/06 – The building of the mosque was seriously damaged, a senior Muslim cleric told IslamNews news agency. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the explosion. Investigation into the attack has been launched. A mosque employee told the agency that the blast had entirely destroyed the main entrance, windows were broken. “Judging by the damage inflicted the explosive device was much more powerful than a grenade,” he said.
Paris, France – 03/07/06 – Vandals painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slogans on a mosque in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes, a mosque official said Monday. Abderrahmane Ammari said “extremists” attacked the walls of the mosque early Sunday, covering the exterior walls with slogans including “Islam go home,” “France is white” and “We fight against Islam” early Sunday morning.
Heidelberg, Germany – 19/11/04 – Unidentified assailants hurled a Molotov cocktail at a mosque in a town just south of Heidelberg early Thursday, raising fears that recent ethnic violence in Holland could spill over the border to Germany.
Annecy, France – 07/03/04 – About 250 people have held a protest rally in the south-eastern French town of Annecy after two local mosques were damaged in suspected arson attacks. One fire ravaged a mosque in the Alpine town itself while the other burned a prayer room in nearby Seynod.
Girona, Spain – 15/12/04 – Police have arrested a neo-Nazi gang which had carried out attacks on mosques and businesses owned by Muslims. Seven people, including three teenagers, were arrested in towns near Girona, in Catalonia in north-east Spain. The group, called The Black Front, was said to espouse Nazi philosophy. The group carried out attacks on mosques, businesses owned by Muslims and other people whose ideologies were opposed to their own.
Strasbourg, France – 24/06/04 – Nazi vandals have struck at the Muslim community in the Alsace region of eastern France, desecrating 48 graves of Muslim soldiers with swastikas and “SS” inscriptions. Local Muslim leaders reported seven attacks against Muslim sites in Strasbourg in April, including graffiti saying “death to Arabs”. Most Muslims in France are of North African origin.
Copenhagen, Denmark – 24/03/08 – Danish Muslims link the racist murder of a Muslim teen last week to an increasing Islamophobic atmosphere fanned by the reprinting of a cartoon satirical of prophet Muhammad. “Deniz Ozgur Uzun was killed because of his dark, Middle Eastern skin,” Jihad Abdelalim Alfara, the chairman of the Islamic Council in Denmark, told IslamOnline.net. Uzun, a 17-year-old Turk attending a technical high school, was distributing newspapers in the Amager district of Copenhagen Wednesday when he was verbally harassed by three Danes, aged 15, 17 and 18. “He ignored them and went his way before they stopped their car and started assaulting him.”
Bergen, Norway – 03/05/11 – A junior high school in Bergen, west Norway, was evacuated this Tuesday morning after a national newspaper received a message from a pupil claiming to have a weapon in their school bag with the intention of shooting others, “especially Muslims.”
Sofia, Bulgaria – 12/06/11 – The warden of the main mosque in downtown Sofia has suffered a brutal assault at the hands of unidentified attackers just minutes before the start of the morning prayer on Sunday. 20/05/11 – Supporters of the Bulgarian far right Ataka (Attack) party started a brawl in downtown Sofia, assaulting Muslims during their Friday prayer.
USA – Damage to property
08/11/10 – Phoenix – The FBI is investigating the recent vandalism of a Phoenix mosque under construction, officials said Wednesday. Paint was spilled on the floor and several tall, arched glass windows were broken by what appeared to be gunshots, Shami said. There was also anti-Muslim graffiti.
08/08/07 – Glendale – a container of acid and a reactant was thrown out of a car window and landed near an imam (Islamic religious leader) and another mosque official who were standing outside the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona in Glendale, Ariz.
13/08/07 – Antioch – Muslim leaders gathered today at an Antioch mosque that they said had been vandalized several times to condemn what authorities called an arson attack over the weekend.
01/11/94 – Yuba City – The original mosque was 75% complete when on Sept. 1, 1994 a blazing fire reduced this beautiful 12,000 sq. ft. building to charred ruins in just ONE HOUR.
10/05/10 – Jacksonville – a bomb exploded outside the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. Local, state and national law enforcement authorities investigated the attack as a possible act of domestic terrorism. (04/05/11 – A 46-year-old suspect,Sandlin Matthews Smith, was shot and killed earlier today in Oklahoma as FBI agents and state law enforcement personnel attempted to arrest him in a state park.)
01/02/09 – Miami – Police Investigate Shots Fired At Miami Mosque. Officials Say Bullet Holes Found In Wall.
25/11/06 – Florida – Sniper Strikes at Brevard Mosque During Ramadan Prayers.
14/0/07 – Tampa – Someone deliberately set fire Thursday morning to the Islamic Education Center of Tampa,Florida, a mosque tucked into a neighborhood of tidy suburban homes in Town ‘N Country, according to Hillsborough Fire Rescue and the FBI.
07/07/ – Houston – a home-made bomb exploded on Sunday in the mailbox of Champions Masjid in Spring, Texas. Muslim children who saw two white men place the bomb in the mailbox narrowly missed being injured in the attack.
26/03/02 – Tallahassee – A man drove his truck into a mosque near Florida State University on Monday night, prompting police to seal off the area and call in a bomb squad.
23/08/02 – Florida – A Florida doctor arrested after police found more than 15 homemade explosive devices in his home drafted a detailed plan to blow up a Muslim educational center, investigators said Friday. A search of Robert J. Goldstein’s residence also turned up a list of about 50 Islamic worship centers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and other locations in Florida.
25/08/03 – Savannah – An mosque burned to the ground Sunday morning, and police are calling it a case of arson. The fire completely destroyed the building but it wasn’t the only thing targeting this mosque. Just a few weeks ago, bullets slammed into the garage door and one of its members received hate mail.
19/12/10 – Louisiana – The Louisiana State Police bomb squad was called to “deactivate” a suspicious device found against the iron fence surrounding the Islamic Center of Lafayette. Police would not divulge the exact content of the briefcase found outside the mosque. But said it was a real threat. Some 50 nearby homes were evacuated.
12/12/04 – Springfield – Investigators probing a fire Wednesday night that severely damaged a Springfield mosque have concluded that it was arson.
30/01/11 – Dearborn – A 63-year-old Southern California man who was traveling with explosives in his vehicle with the intention of blowing up one of the nation’s largest mosques where mourners had gathered for a funeral was arrested in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.
25/08/06 – Minneapolis – A Minneapolis mosque was targeted with a suspected arson early Thursday morning while prayer was in session, the mosque director said. No one was hurt in the incident, but dozens of books and other equipments were destroyed.
07/12/10 – Carlton – A Holley teen-ager was charged with a felony count of criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly firing a shotgun outside a mosque in Waterport on Monday night.
26/11/08 – Ohio – on Friday, a mosque in Dayton, OH was tear-gassed, with women and children inside.
20/12/05 – Cincinnati – It was late in the night on Dec. 20, 2005, when two pipe bombs went off outside the Islamic Association of Cincinnati. Luckily, no one was hurt, but no one has been ever been arrested or charged.
29/08/10 – Murfreesboro – One day after a piece of construction equipment was burned at the building site for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report about shots fired at the site.
27/05/11 – Washington DC – Shots were fired outside a mosque in northwest D.C. Friday afternoon. No one was injured in the incident and police have arrested a man.
17/09/01 – Cleveland – Last night, September 17, 2001 a man in Parma Ohio near Cleveland, drove his vehicle smack dab into the center of the Mosque. The car ended up in the fountain, he ended up in the emergency room.
11/09/05 – Lansdale – Robert Blackburn, 53, of Hatfield, used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot up two cars in the parking lot of the North Penn Mosque early Tuesday, police said.
12/02/08 – Nashville – Three men have been charged in the firebombing of a small mosque over the weekend, federal prosecutors said. They were members of the Christian Identity movement, an extreme doctrine that claims white Europeans are God’s chosen people.
30/06/00 – Memphis – On June 20th, Masjid Al-Noor in Memphis, Tenn., became the latest target, this time at the hands of an enraged neighbor. The suspect, who tried to enter the locked mosque, was said to have opened fire on the mosque with his shotgun, filling the door of the mosque with bullet holes. One Muslim man was wounded after being shot in the pelvis area by the suspect, who returned home to reload his shotgun.
16/05/11 – Houston – Members of the mosque reported two men smashed in a window at Madrasae Islamia in the 6600 block of Bintliff Drive and then doused a room with gasoline before setting the fire.
16/11/07 – Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi’s Islamic community cautiously continued Ramadan worship Saturday while investigators prowled the McArdle Road mosque’s perimeter for clues to who shot through the door Friday.
20/09/04 – El Paso – Police arrested a man who allegedly attacked the Islamic Center of El Paso with two makeshift firebombs that failed to detonate.
14/09/01 – Texas – A firebomb was hurled at a mosque and Islamic school in Texas, a day after windows were shot out at a similar Islamic centre near Dallas, police said today.
27/04/06 – Maryland – The police say nobody was hurt after shots were fired Thursday into the Islamic Center of Delmarva located in Salisbury.
USA – Violence against a person
21/12/10 – Columbus – Federal and local authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after a Muslim woman said she was verbally harassed and pepper sprayed on Monday outside of an Islamic center on the city’s west side.
01/09/09 – Portland – Portland police say a man was shot in the back after leaving a mosque, and police were searching for two suspects. Police Chief James Craig says at least two shots were fired. The victim, who was not identified, was taken to the Maine Medical Center. His injuries were not thought to be life threatening.
17/04/08 – Kansas – A clerk at a Lenexa, Kan., gas station told police that a man came into the store and asked the clerk if he was Muslim. When the clerk replied in the affirmative, the man reportedly started harassing him. Soon after the man left the store, a Molotov cocktail incendiary device was thrown through the front window of the store. A similar incident occurred at another store in area.
12/09/10 – New York – One of two suspects arrested allegedly used racial and religious slurs, including calling the imam a “camel jockey” and shouting, “F*ck all you Muslims. All of you are terrorists,” during the verbal and physical assault.
02/12/10 – Sacramento – A 56-year-old Sikh taxi driver was attacked early morning Nov. 28 in West Sacramento, Calif., by two passengers who allegedly shouted racial epithets and called the turban-and-bearded driver “Osama bin Laden.”
22/10/10 – Washington State – A Burien woman has been charged with a hate crime for physically and verbally assaulting two Muslim women at a Tukwila gas station last weekend. 37-year-old Jennifer Leigh Jennings accosted two Muslim women, calling them “terrorists” and “suicide bombers” before physically attacking them.
14/10/10 – New York – The Staten Island woman said her attacker called her a “terrorist and a Muslim” and pulled on her religious head scarf. The attacker — a pedestrian — allegedly reached through the driver’s-side window of her car and punched her in the face. He then allegedly shattered a car window and tried to hit her 4-year-old son.
25/08/10 – New York – Rider Asks if Cabby Is Muslim, Then Stabs Him. He withdrew a Leatherman knife, Mr. Sharif said, and, reaching through the opening in the plastic divider, slashed Mr. Sharif’s throat. When Mr. Sharif turned, he said, Mr. Enright stabbed him in his face, on his arm and on his thumbs. Mr. Sharif said he told him: “I beg of you, don’t kill me. I worked so hard, I have a family.”
08/12/06 – Vermont– Police say Thurber told officers that he believed the family members were terrorists because they spoke Arabic to each other. He allegedly suspected they were plotting an explosion in the north end of Brattleboro and perhaps the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. “Thurber stated that he thought the (family) should no longer be able to breathe,” Brattleboro Police Officer Mark Carignan wrote in his affidavit. “He said that they needed to be killed to protect the United States.”
21/10/06 – San Fransisco – “Whoever did this did not see Alia Ansari, a mother of six children.” Killed Thursday by a single bullet to the head as she walked with her 3-year-old daughter on a well-to-do residential street, she was distinguished by a hijab, the head scarf worn by some devout Muslim women. The Afghan immigrant had no purse or money on her, family members said.
In the U.S., violence directed towards abortion providers has killed at least eight people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort. According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an organization of abortion providers, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers. According to NAF, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, property crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid (“stink bombs”). The New York Times also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson, over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of vandalism between 1978 and 1993. The first clinic arson occurred in Oregon in March 1976 and the first bombing occurred in February 1978 in Ohio. The first hoax letters claiming to contain anthrax were mailed to U.S. clinics in October 1998, a few days after the Slepian shooting; since then, there have been 655 such bioterror threats made against abortion providers. None of the “anthrax” in these cases was real.
The rightists will argue that graffiti or smashed windows isn’t terrorism just vandalism. I would agree if it wasn’t for the fact that these acts have a particular target and motive based on racial, religious or ideological grounds. They are fueled by hatred, and are designed to cause fear and put pressure on a section of society, either to retaliate or to relocate. Had these incidents been the work of Muslims, the Islamophobes wouldn’t hesitate to label them as acts of jihad. Add to the above the many more incidents of far right terrorism on Western soil that can be viewed here and here, and you start to realise that what happened in Oslo and Utoya is an escalation rather than an exception. The threat posed by the far right needs to be addressed now, and the discourse on terrorism needs to change if this escalation is to be halted.