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Ramadan saw a spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents across the US:

August 6 Missouri: The Islamic Society of Joplin's building, valued at an estimated $600,000, was destroyed by a suspicious fire. A small fire at the same building in July was determined to be arson. A Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) staffer who visited the site after the fire reported "people driving by in their trucks cursing the mosque".

August 7 Louisiana: Three pig legs were left at the planned mosque site of Al-Nur Islamic Centre in Ontario. Worshippers said that the pig legs were thrown on the site's driveways just before 10 pm by two women who then drove off in a pick-up truck. A security guard witnessed the incident.

August 3 California: Oranges and lemons were thrown at the American Muslim Association in Hayward while worshippers were inside. At least one person was hit. Four teenagers were arrested "on suspicion of vandalism that interferes with civil rights". According to the mosque president the teens had targeted the facility on at least three other occasions during Ramadan.

August 10 Illinois: Two air rifle shots were fired at the outer wall of the Muslim Education Centre mosque in Morton Grove. The shots were heard by worshipers who were outside the mosque and were powerful enough to damage the building's brick wall. A man was later arrested and faces four felony charges for allegedly firing the shots.

August 12 Oklahoma: Vandals fired numerous paintballs at the doors of the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City and then fled the scene. A video camera on the property recorded the incident.

August 12 Illinois: Someone threw a bottle filled with acid and other unspecified materials at the College Preparatory School of America in Lombard as worshippers were inside conducting night-time Ramadan prayers. Worshipers said they heard a loud bang and discovered that the acid bomb had been thrown at the window of the school. No one was injured.

August 15 Florida: Someone threw a mason jar filled with gasoline at the home of a Muslim family in Panama City. The incendiary device bounced on the house and set fire to the family's lawn. "This could have burned down our house. This could have killed everyone," the son of the home's owner told a local news station.

August 17 Illinois: Muslim graves at the Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen Park were spray-painted with anti-Islam hate graffiti. A local Muslim man found the graffiti when he went to the cemetery to pay respects at the grave of his father. The hate graffiti included insults to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). According to reports, this was the sixth time the grave marker was vandalised in a 17-month period. The marker was vandalised again in September.

August 18 California: After the Santa Clara county planning commission approved a mosque's site-use permit, local residents organised an anti-Muslim lecture. Peter Friedman of told a local paper that Islam is a violent religion and that, "for some reason we believe that Muslims in America are different than Muslims in the Middle East and Africa who are killing people. But it all comes from the same book".

August 19 New York: Someone scattered bacon on the site where Staten Island Muslims had gathered to hold prayers honouring the end of Ramadan. The incident was being investigated as a hate crime. Hours before event, someone posted a threat to bring a pig to the prayer. After the event, an anonymous caller to a local paper asserted that the bacon was left for seagulls and raccoons to eat.

-- Mick O'Reilly

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 4, 2013
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