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With information from MuslimMatters.org

BOOKMARK this new great website, exposing the dirty-dozen promoting islamophobia (all Rep "operatives"): http://www.smearcasting.com/  (a FAIR project)

UPDATE: Unfortunate twist in this story:

First of all, I am deeply aggrieved by the turn of events, where the student who was the the supposed victim of the hate-crime, is now charged with creating a hoax. The battle against Islamophobia or any type of racism only gets harder after people do stupid things to get attention. And it starts casting doubt on the many other legit cases happening on a regular basis (like the confirmed cases of Mosque vandalism).

But I would like everyone to step back... and think about any similar episode, and how is victim's community expected to react? Wait for the investigation to be complete, the criminal to be not only caught, but also tried and convicted (if indeed there was an attacker)? At what point, does one go with the facts as presented?

  1. The story as presented in Chicago Tribune, and the statements of the College Principal himself, left us with no legitimate reason to believe that the story was untrue. In fact, one of the staffers at MuslimMatters.org had personal connections with the family, and there was nothing in their history to cause any doubt.

  2. Keeping in mind (1), it only reflects positively, something that we can all be proud of, that Dailykos remains a beacon of diversity, and a light for highlighting discrimination and hate-crimes, regardless of color, nationality or religion of victims. Rewind back one week, and I am sure our community would do exactly the same thing. We cannot lose sight of what brought us together to recommend the story. We came together on the issue of a hate-crime occurring, on the concept itself, not a particular story or event. And even if it turned out not to be true in this case, the concept and the essence of our unity against hate-crimes doesn't change.

  3. It is not the first time that real stories of victims may be marred by one or two hoaxes, it happens all the time, in fact http://www.racismeantiblanc.bizland.... collects various stories. But, let’s not lose sight of the fact that in the big picture, hundreds of other hate-crimes against Muslims all over the world are REAL, like the 54 cases of Assault, out of which 24 were aggravated assaults, as reported in 2006 FBI stats.

In conclusion, we cannot be afraid or hesitant to report and highlight events that we have no reasonable reason not to believe. Otherwise, most such stories (as most are indeed true) will be forgotten, and the lessons to be learned will be missed too.  Islamophobia is real... if there was ever evidence needed for it, we saw it with Obama's "Muslim smear". Let's not let one mishap derail us from our struggle to end bigotry against all.

Peace.
--------------------

As if the Ohio masjid (mosque) gassing wasn’t enough, a Muslim woman attending Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL was attacked and threatened for her life at gunpoint. The woman was an active member of the MSA (Muslim Students Association), who had been on the forefront of rallying and protesting against Guantanamo Bay during this recent semester. During recent events of the MSA, the woman amongst others had been verbally abused and threatened, including a death-related threat on her locker.

In the last hate-attack on the Dayton Masjid (Mosque), DailyKos was the LEADING LIGHT all over the internet and even quoted in the media for disseminating news of this hateful incident.

I hope that DailyKos is ONCE AGAIN, the leading light to push this story forth so that people realize that Islamophobia is REAL, and its effects are REAL, and that if we don't stop this runaway train, the damages will be more REAL than we could ever imagine. We cannot let our country turn on its own, based on prejudice and fear! RECOMMEND this diary, and get the word out.

Back to the story, this past Thursday evening, the woman was followed into a women’s restroom and assaulted by a masked gunman. The gunman struck her with his gun, leaving her unconscious on the bathroom floor.

While these events may anger us or leave us in fear, it’s incredible to know exactly what this brave woman did. The gunman, while holding a gun to her, was reported to have asked her, "now who is going to protect you?" The woman replied, "God will protect me... You can kill me, but you cannot take my soul."

I mention in my article on "Islamophobia: It Exists" that

[O]ne can think of racism or prejudice as a pyramid, with the bottom base being a myriad and widespread negative opinions and beliefs, which I have already described in the preceding paragraphs. The next, less-widespread, step up on this pyramid would be hate-talk. A step further up will be actions motivated by hate, like throwing a pig’s head into a mosque. Further steps up (less frequent but of higher intensity) would include direct attacks on Muslims and eventually to Muslim deaths and even large-scale terrorism (a plan by a Florida doctor to bomb Muslim educational centers was derailed in Florida in 2002 before it could be enacted). The question is not whether such hate-crimes will happen (because they already are); rather the question is when and how many.

What the propagators of this video are attempting to do is to continue building the base of the hate-pyramid. They are trying to influence and coax the average American into seeing Islam as a threat, and Muslims as enemies. By mixing images of Nazis and Muslims, they are engaged in willful and dishonest fear-mongering, designed to further their goal of sidelining Muslims in all spheres of American influence.

This is incredibly unfortunate! Imagine if you yourself were in this situation at your school or workplace. How would you react?

We ask you to keep this Muslim woman in your prayers, as well as other Muslims at this campus. MuslimMatters plans to follow up with this story, perhaps with an interview of the sister. Here’s the article from the Chicago Tribune on the story.

Ill. campus tense after Muslim student reports being attack

CHICAGO — Tensions that had been boiling at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill., spilled over this week amid reports that a Muslim student had been physically assaulted by a masked gunman.

The 19-year-old sophomore said she was hit with a gun in a bathroom in the college’s science center Thursday night, authorities said. Anti-Muslim graffiti was written on the wall, authorities said, similar to a threat written on the same student’s locker the week before that said: "Die Muslims, Rid us of your filth."

As officials at the private college affiliated with the United Church of Christ on Friday called the incident a hate crime, hundreds of students rallied to show solidarity with their Muslim peers, who constitute about 25 of the school’s 3,300 students.

...

The woman’s father said Friday that she said the gunman asked her: " ‘Now who is going to protect you?’ " He said his daughter replied: " ‘God will protect me. . . . You can kill me, but you cannot take my soul.’ "

Students have reported tensions on campus since students held a Sept. 18 rally to protest the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and several witnesses reported that three female Muslim students, including the woman who reported the attack, were harassed and verbally threatened.

...

Notorangelo said she found her friend lying face down, unconscious with her glasses knocked off. There was no blood, she said. She called campus security and 911.

Ray said the college is beefing up security, including foot and car patrols by Elmhurst police and campus security offering to escort Muslim students around the campus.

And in an unrelated incident, as reported by the Dallas's Masjid's (Mosque) Imam to us:

Our masjid (mosque) was vandalized late last night. Someone threw bricks at the masjid, broke a light fixture, made some small holes in the wall, and broke a window. A neighbor heard all the commotion and called the police. We’re looking into identifying the culprit through surveillance video.

AND ANOTHER:

A mosque in villa park IL (not too far from elmhurst): Someone threw a 5 gallon container of flammable liquid

this link has pictures:
http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/...

   The Islamic Foundation Mosque in west suburban Villa Park said today it was vandalized for the fourth time in less than two months when someone threw a 5-gallon tank of flammable liquid into the mosque's school on Tuesday, breaking two windows.

IS THIS THE AMERICA THAT WE WANT?  JOIN VOICES OF TOLERANCE AND REASON AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA!!

Originally posted to amad on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:32 PM PDT.

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