Aug 26 2010
Graffitti that said, “”Wake up America, the enemy is here” painted on a Madera, CA mosque is being called a ‘HATE CRIME*
*HATE CRIME* in America ONLY refers to crimes against Muslims or blacks.
Imam Abdullah Salem arrived at the Madera Islamic Center on Tuesday to find a pair of menacing signs, including one that read “Wake up America, the enemy is here.”
It was the latest in a series of incidents that the Madera County Sheriff’s Department is investigating as hate crimes. On Sunday, a brick nearly smashed a window at the center on Road 26 just outside Madera. Last week, another sign left on the property read “No temple for the god of terrorism.”
Signs left at the mosque claimed to be from a group called the “American Nationalist Brotherhood.” Sheriff’s officials said they hadn’t heard of such an organization.
Some local Muslims worry that talk radio hosts who have repeatedly invited callers to express their anger about the controversy surrounding a proposed Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City are fanning flames of intolerance — and putting their families in danger. (That’s right, give the Muslim-in-Chief yet another reason to shut down talk radio)
“It’s hate talk on the radio,” said Dr. Mohammad Ashraf, a Madera cardiologist who is Muslim. “It’s everywhere — not only in Madera. [It’s in] San Diego, Kentucky, Tennessee.” (Get used to it, people are starting to hate Muslim now more than ever before)
“Sound bites are so easy to spew out, and the truth doesn’t bring in higher ratings,” Ghazvini said in an e-mail. “I believe that these unfounded attacks are dangerous and irresponsible. Radio talk show hosts across this country and locally live to insult Muslims and rile people against them.”
Two local talk-radio hosts, however, deny that they are promoting intolerance. “The audience is pretty much whipped into a frenzy,” acknowledged radio personality Ray Appleton, who hosts a lunch-hour show on KMJ (AM 580). “I’ve done my best to hold the rhetoric down.”
Appleton said he has worked to keep his callers on subject — which he said is a “lack of sensitivity” in building the Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York. He said he tries to redirect callers who attack Islam — or cut them off.
Former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry, who hosts a morning radio show on KYNO (AM 940) that has spent considerable time on the New York Islamic center, also put the blame on his callers. Addressing the Madera mosque incidents, he said “knuckleheads do things like that. They don’t need to be stirred up.”
The attacks at the Madera Islamic Center come during the month of Ramadan — the faith’s most holy time. Salem said that made the incidents especially worrisome.
The center’s approximately 150 families are not angry, he said. “But they are worried about the safety of the children and the ladies.”
During Ramadan, it is important for believers to pray throughout the day, the evening and at night. That makes it more likely that women and children will be at the mosques late.
Ashraf said the center plans to hire security and increase video surveillance. Salem stayed at the center all night Tuesday after he found the most recent signs.
Salem said the recent vandalism at the Madera mosque is greater than anything else seen in its 15-year history — including the days after 9/11. DAILY ME