Pipe-Bombing of Crowded Mosque Latest Anti-Muslim Attack

Anti-Muslim Hate Crime

Authorities have no suspects in the pipe-bombing of a Florida mosque during evening prayers on May 12. The incident is part of a spike in anti-Muslim violence in the last six months, according to Islamic rights organizations.

Approximately 60 worshipers were at The Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville when the device went off around 9:35 p.m. It caused a small fire in the back of the building, but no one was injured. 

The FBI released surveillance video of what appears to be a middle-aged white man carrying a gasoline container in the area of the bombing. Investigators believe he is connected to the attack. Another surveillance video was released that showed a different man who entered the mosque April 4 and shouted anti-Islam epithets. Neither man has been found.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said his organization has seen a jump in anti-Islamic incidents since the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit. A Nigerian man later determined to have ties to Al-Qaeda was subdued by passengers when he tried to ignite explosives sewn to his underwear. Alejandro J. Beutel, government liaison for the Washington, D.C.-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, said his organization has noted the same trend.

Other recent anti-Islamic incidents noted by CAIR include:

• Ads on Miami and New York City buses directing Muslims to a website urging them to leave "the falsity of Islam" that were paid for by Stop the Islamization of America, a Muslim-bashing group headed by Tea Party favorite Pam Geller.

• A protester shouting a bomb threat at a June 28 demonstration against a proposed Brooklyn mosque.

• A man in Sunnydale, Calif., attacked on June 11 by two men who asked him if he was Jewish. When the victim said that he was Muslim, one of the men called him a terrorist and punched him in the face.

• An Edmond, Okla., resident who, on June 27, placed a handmade sign on her lawn that quoted a violent verse from the Koran. Next to the sign was placed a white cross with the words, "If this offends you, you have the right to leave." The sign faced a home into which an Indian Muslim family was expected to move. The woman who posted the signs told a reporter that "there is no such thing as a peace-loving Muslim."