California mosque burned in apparent homage to the New Zealand terrorist attacks
In an apparent Islamophobic hate-crime, a small mosque in Escondido, California was set ablaze on Sunday, with the attacker leaving a graffitied note paying homage to the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.
The Dar-ul-Arqam mosque, located north of San Diego, was set ablaze while worshippers were still inside the building. While those inside were able to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, there was heavy damage done to the outside of the mosque. No one was injured.
Local police are calling it an act of arson, and are investigating into whether this will constitute as a hate crime. There was also graffiti left in the form of a message by the attacker, with reference to the terrorist attack in New Zealand that saw 50 innocent Muslims killed during Friday prayers. Police are not releasing the exact wording of the message as the investigation is still ongoing.
This incident may constitute as the first major Islamophobic attack in specific reference to the Christchurch attacks in the United States, however many watch groups are stating that there has been a general rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes across the world since New Zealand.
Tell Mama, a prominent hate-crime watch group based in the UK, has stated that there has been at least 95 reported incidents of hate crime directed towards Muslims between March 15th and the 21st.
CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, has previously stated that in the U.S. there was a 15% increase in Islamophobic attacks in 2017 alone, with fears that the numbers may have risen with the rise in open neo-fascism and neo-nazism as seen since last year.
While thankfully no one was hurt during this recent attack on the mosque in Escondido, it does stand as a stark reminder that the rise in open Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with at not only a social level but at a state-level as well.