Muslims experiencing hate attacks after California shooting

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Muslims pray at Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, on Friday, December 4, 2015. (AP photo)

American Muslims fear that a new wave of Islamophobia is spreading across the United States, fueled by this week’s mass shooting in California.

Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, stormed a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and injuring 21 in the deadliest shooting in the US in three years. Hours later, the couple died in a fire exchange with police.

Only hours after news broke that suspects had Muslim names, American Muslims strongly condemned the incident, but this did not stop the US mainstream media from spewing hate and venom against Muslims and Islam.

American Muslims and their prayer leaders across the country say they are experiencing a wave of death threats, assaults and vandalism unlike anything they have experienced since the September 11 attacks in 2001 in the United States, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Followers of the Islamic faith in the US say that they observed an escalation in hateful attacks against Muslims this autumn after two of the Republican Party’s leading presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, made hideous remarks against Islam and Muslims.

They say the threats, vandalism and violence grew after the last month attacks in Paris that were allegedly claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.

The female shooter involved in Wednesday’s killing spree in California had also pledged allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to three US officials familiar with the investigation.

An investigator looks at a black SUV that was involved in a police shootout with suspects, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, California. (AP photo)

As the San Bernardino attack was happening, investigators believe Malik put a post on Facebook, pledging allegiance to al-Baghdadi, the officials told CNN on Friday.

Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said at a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday that groups like Daesh and al-Qaeda are “trying to divide our society and to terrorize us.”

“Our message to them is we will not be terrorized and we will not be intimidated,” either by the terrorists or, he said, “by hatemongers who exploit the fear and hysteria that results from incidents like this.”

Many of America’s approximately 3 million Muslims say such tensions could increase during a US presidential race that they fear is already injecting anger and bigotry.

“My identity and everything that I am becomes erased every time one of these incidents occurs,” Nabihah Maqbool, 27, a law student at the University of Chicago told The New York Times. “It all becomes collapsed into these senseless acts of violence being committed by people who are part of my group.”

Maqbool said that while driving back to Chicago after recent Thanksgiving vacation with her family, she did not stop to pray on the grassy lawn outside an interstate rest stop because of concerns of being victimized.

“I just got so nervous that something could happen to me by any unhinged individual who saw me as someone who deserved violence,” she said.

Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson (left) and Donald Trump participate in the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. (AFP photo)

Some Muslim Americans say they fear that the recent divisive remarks by Republican candidates Trump and Carson could strengthen their appeal in a race in which controversial comments laced with xenophobia and misogyny have failed to diminish the popularity of candidates.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku