The arson fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin in Missouri is not new. Since 2003, 13 mosques around the country have suffered arson or bombing attacks. Please note that the cameras on top of the Joplin Mosque were burnt in the fire. A video of an earlier attack on July 4, 2012 showed an arsonist trying to set fire to the Joplin mosque. Many mosques have their security cameras on top of their buildings with the video material being saved via a computer inside the buildings themselves. Once these buildings are burnt down, there is no video evidence of the arsonist(s). Our advice to both boards of U.S. mosques as well as owners of Muslim businesses in the US is to purchase security cameras whose video feed is sent over the internet in real time to an offsite computer. That way, even if the mosque building(s) or business is burnt down, the evidence will not have been destroyed. These types of cameras are easily available and not that much more expensive than the cost of regular security cameras. They are well worth the cost of catching these criminals. Please click here to learn how to access your security camera(s) on line. PLEASE NOTE THAT MOST AMERICANS (MANY OF WHOM ARE MUSLIMS, INCLUDING MYSELF, PRACTICE TOLERANCE; there are always a few extremists in every community that one has to watch out for.]
This sample of mosques below includes a total of 12 arson and bombings at Islamic mosques from October 2003 thru August 2010 and does not include incidents that have taken place since 2010. These incidents occurred in nine states: California, Florida, Georgia,Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Georgia (2), Florida (2) and Virginia (2) reports at least two incidents. Numbers based on available data during this period.
- Islamic Center Murfreesboro TN 08-28-2010
- Dar-El-Eman Islamic Center Arlington TX 07-23-2010
- Islamic Center Marietta GA 07-05-2010
- Islamic Center Jacksonville FL 05-11-2010
- Islamic Center Educational Mosque Tampa FL 04-13-2007
- Islamic Society of Schuylkill Mosque MechanicsvillePA 04-11-2007
- National Islamic Association Mosque Newark NJ 01-24-2007
- Petersburg Islamic Center Meadow View VA 02-04-2006
- 2800 Granby Street Mosque Falls Church VA 01-28-2006
- Islamic Center of Bloomington Bloomington IN 07-09-2005
- Adelanto Mosque Adelanto CA 06-03-2005
- Islamic Center of Savannah Savannah GA 10-07-2003
Source: National Coalition for Burned Churches Church Burning Research Center
Data Sources: ATF, Georgia State Fire Marshall, local fire departments, and news
July 5, 2012
By Roger McKinneynews@joplinglobe.com
JOPLIN, Mo. — One simply has to type the words “mosque fires” into a search engine to determine how common fires like the one Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque are.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations have tracked dozens of fires, firebombings and incidents of vandalism at mosques around the country over the past five years.
A few examples:
• A mosque in Queens, N.Y., was firebombed in January with worshippers inside. There were no injuries.
• An arson attack on a Houston, Texas, mosque was reported in May 2011.
• Construction equipment was set afire at the site of a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in August 2010.
• An Oct. 31, 2011, arson fire at a mosque in Wichita, Kan., caused an estimated $120,000 in damage.
• Closer to Joplin, someone in April 2011 burned three copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, and left a threatening letter near the entrance of the Islamic Center of Springfield mosque. The anonymous letter claimed that Muslims would “stain the earth” and that Islam wouldn’t survive.
The mosque had earlier been vandalized with graffiti.
An FBI agent last month said there have been positive developments in the Springfield case. Please click here to read the remainder of this article.
Video of first arson attack on July 4, 2012 on Joplin Mosque
JOPLIN, Mo. — The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the July 4 fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin mosque.
The reward is composed of $10,000 from the FBI and $5,000 from the ATF.
To help solicit information, the agencies released surveillance video from the mosque fire. Previously only a still photograph taken from the video had been released.
The fire, about 3:30 a.m. on July 4, caused minor damage to the roof and there were no injuries. Someone driving by reported the fire before it could spread.
Eric Jackson, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City division, said the FBI takes attacks against all religious institutions and houses of worship seriously.
“The reason that we’re offering this reward is that since this incident occurred the morning of the Fourth, a number of leads have been run out by the local sheriff’s department, and FBI and ATF, and at this point, those leads have started to dry up,” Jackson said. “What we want to do is bring this to the attention of the public and gain the assistance of the public in helping us to identify who this individual is.”
Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn asked residents to call in even if they suspect something.
The video shows a man walking casually toward the mosque from the north. The mosque’s flagpole is seen in the video. The man is wearing a long-sleeved, dark-colored shirt. He is carrying an item the size of a backpack in his left hand. The package has a long, thick fuse attached to it, hanging from the bottom of the package. The man lights the fuse with his right hand and tosses the package on the roof of the mosque with his left hand. The man is shown running to the west, through the mosque parking lot.
The authorities at the news conference wouldn’t say what material was ignited.
Dunn asked viewers to make note of the man’s short gait.
“He does seem to have an unusual running style,” Dunn said. “I would ask that you pay attention to that. That could be a characteristic to identify somebody with. He doesn’t run like a sprinter.”
AUTHORITIES AT MONDAY’S news conference provided these phone numbers for people to call with information about the mosque fire:
FBI Joplin field office — (417) 206-5700.
Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Detective Tim Williams — (417) 358-8177, ext. 1223.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — (417) 837-2100.
Missouri Division of Fire Safety’s Arson Hot Line: 1-800-392-7766.
To read the whole article, please click http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x1146349232/FBI-ATF-release-surveillanc…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR Issues Safety Advisory After Another Mosque Targeted
Video captures vandal smashing sign outside Rhode Island mosque
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/7/12) — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today issued a community safety advisory for American mosques following another incident targeting an Islamic house of worship, this time in Rhode Island.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Muslims in North Smithfield, R.I., have asked for extra police protection after the sign for Masjid Al-Islam was vandalized early Sunday. Surveillance video shows a man smashing the sign with a hammer and then driving away.
That incident follows yesterday’s fire that destroyed a Missouri mosque and the deadly shooting attack Sunday on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
[MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR officials will travel to Joplin, Mo., on Wednesday to meet with Muslim leaders and law enforcement officials. They will also take part in an interfaith Ramadan fast-breaking meal (iftar) at a local church on Wednesday evening.]
“We urge Muslim leaders nationwide to take immediate steps to boost security, particularly in the last ten days of the ongoing fast of Ramadan, when religious activities at mosques reach their peak,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad said recommended security measures, which are based on CAIR’s “Muslim Community Safety Kit,” include:
- Reaching out to local law enforcement authorities to request stepped up patrols in the area of a mosque.
- Meeting with elected officials to discuss safety concerns.
- Installing video surveillance cameras, alarms and perimeter lighting.
- Documenting descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles.
- Backing up important records at an offsite location.
- Cooperating with local neighborhood watch groups.
CAIR is also asking local Muslim communities to take actions outlined in its “Guide to Challenging Islamophobia,” which offers tips on dealing with anti-Islam rhetoric on the Internet, in the workplace and in schools and universities. The guide also offers advice for challenging anti-Muslim views espoused by public figures.
Yesterday, CAIR called for stepped-up police protection at Muslim institutions and other houses of worship nationwide and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever may have caused the Missouri fire.
CAIR: Mosque Arson, Vandalism Not Uncommon (Joplin Globe)
CAIR: Mosque in Missouri Burns to the Ground (MSNBC)
Video: CAIR Offers $10K Reward for Info on Mo. Mosque Fire
CAIR: Members of Other Religions Offer Support to Joplin Muslims
Video: CAIR-AZ Rep Concerned About Copycat Attacks
CNN Video: Missouri Mosque Burnt to the Ground (CAIR)
Video: CAIR Rep Interviewed on Missouri Mosque Fire
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
- END -
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,
Related Video: Terrorism Attack on Mosque Stopped just in time
Feb 2011: A California man is in jail on a terrorism charge after he was arrested in Dearborn for allegedly trying to blow up the biggest mosque in metro Detroit, Dearborn, Michigan.
Related Video: Shocking New York mosque arson attack caught on camera]
Jan 2012: Police have released CCTV footage of the moment an arsonist attacked one of four buildings in New York including a mosque using a molotov cocktail.
Fire at Columbia, Tennessee Mosque Appears to Be Arson
Feb 10, 2008: A mosque in Columbia, Tennessee was destroyed by a fire that federal investigators say appears to have been caused by arson. No one was injured, but investigators found drawings of swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on the building. (Feb. 10)
Please note that in the video below the arsonists who burned down the Islamic Center of Columbia, Tennessee, were tracked down by law enforcement agencies and are now in prison. U.S. Muslims should trust that law enforcement authorities will act to find out the guilty party if their mosque is attacked and not take the law into their own hands.
Blog Threats Target Virginia Mosque
ASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2011 — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the FBI to investigate a number of threats of violence targeting mosques posted online on an anti-Islam hate site, including the comment “I want [Muslim] blood on my hands” by an individual who claims he regularly drives past a Virginia mosque.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also urged WordPress.com to remove the hate site because its calls to violence violate the hosting company’s terms of service,” which prohibit blogs that “contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities.”
[NOTE: At CAIR's request, WordPress.com last year deleted a similar blog containing posts that advocated burning mosques, making false bomb threats implicating Muslims, desecrating Muslim graves, and that recommended the "proper way to shoot a muslim [sic].”]
CAIR said articles and comments posted on the anonymous blog “Bare Naked Islam” (BNI) routinely urge attacks on and desecration of American and European mosques.
[NOTE: Grammatical errors have been maintained for all posts and comments below.]
“Keith Mahone (aka Charles Martel),” who states that he regularly drives by a Virginia mosque, wrote: “[I]f you see a Muslim licking an ice cream cone in the park and you blow his head off you are technically committing an act of self defense. . .Muslims must learn they they are not safe anywhere outside a Muslim country. . .My heart does a back flip to see a mosque “desecrated”. . .Burn every mosque to the ground in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and kill every Muslim twice. . .I want their blood on my hands as a matter of principle.”
SEE: Keith Mahone (aka Charles Martel)
In a November 23 post headlined “Ready the Pigs’ Blood,” the blog’s author and commenters on the article urged violence and religious desecration to prevent the construction of a New York mosque.
SEE: Ready the Pigs’ Blood
BNI’s author wrote: “The mosque may go up, but it will never stay up.”
Texas Man Indicted for Bomb Threat to Murfreesboro Mosque
Hate Comes to Orange County
Related Article: Arson Attack on Houston Mosque
May 17, 2011:
he Houston Fire Department is investigating an attempt to burn down one of the city’s mosques after masked men used gasoline to try to ignite the building over the weekend. Prayer rugs at the back of the mosque were doused with gasoline, but thankfully the building did not catch fire, and the damage was confined to one room. The Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is asking the FBI to investigate the arson as a possible hate crime. The incident is just the latest in a string of attacks on American mosques since the death of Osama bin Laden.
Many conservatives responded to the terrorist leader’s death by stoking broader fears about Muslims and sharia law, but the most extreme reaction came from far-right blogger and commentator Debbie Schlussel, who wrote, “One down, 1.8 billion to go…many of ‘em inside U.S. borders.” Such outrageous comments are not unusual for Schlussel, but unfortunately this time her statement reflected a more widespread outburst of anti-Muslim sentiment. Please click here to read the remainder of the article about other very recent mosque attacks.
Man Rolls Pig Head into LewistonMosque
Pennsylvania Muslim business attacked
Aug 2009: CAIR), the vandals also overturned counters, broke glass windows and doors and scattered food and other items around the store, which is owned by Muslim Palestinian-Americans.