Anti-Muslim | Not in Our Town


  After the murder of 75 year-old Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham, people came together for a vigil. Credit: ITV.  On June 4, a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Muswell Hill, North London was burned to the ground. The letters ‘EDL’, the acronym of the anti-Muslim group English Defense League, were found graffitied on a nearby wall. Hours after the news broke, EDL members took to Facebook with comments such as “Burn them all”, “love it!!” and “shoulda been full.” 
  Not in Our School: a walk against hate
As our country deals with the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier this month, many commentators have been anticipating an anti-Muslim backlash. Some hate crimes motivated by hostility to Muslims have been reported, including the valdalism of an Oklahoma City mosque this weekend. However, ABC News argues that the Muslim community has defended itself against backlash by quickly coming forward to condemn the bombings, and by fighting radicalization internally. 
This guest blog post comes from a concerned member with Not In Our Town Princeton, a vibrant group in the NIOT community. In this opinion piece, the author addresses hate crimes and discrimination against the Muslim community in the U.S. The author finds hope in civil rights organizations, good Samaritans and interfaith movements. The tragedy of 9/11 struck all of us very hard but perhaps the community most affected by this tragic event in the history of our nation is the American Muslim community. While American Muslims grieved on 9/11, they also worked side by side with ground zero rescue workers and first responders. American Muslims also gathered supplies for the rescue workers at Ground Zero. Watch a Firefighter talk about 9/11:
The searing controversy over the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York has exposed deep divisions and unhealed wounds in our country. (The comments on this recent Washington Post article by Eboo Patel illustrate these deep rifts.) Whether the debate stems from bigotry toward Muslims, or insensitivity to the tragedy of 9/11 depends on your perspective-- but emotions are flared and battle lines are being drawn. How can we turn this crisis into an opportunity to find a new way to talk to each other about the issues that are emerging? In our town, public radio station KQED hosted a forum with local religious leaders. Listen to the forum here. How is the controversy playing out in your community? How can we open up a constructive dialogue? Please post your examples and ideas.
Nashville, TN:  "How terrible that someone would write ‘Muslims Go Home’ when they are home!” exclaimed a neighbor who helped organize a team of volunteers to support Nashville's Muslim community after a mosque was defaced.  The community's swift response reaffirmed its commitment to inclusiveness. FEAR INSPIRES HATE