Muslims targeted after Paris attacks

Muslims are concerned about their security as hate filled incidents increase following deadly attacks in Paris

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A man holds anti-Islam sign during a rally in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Updated Nov 19, 2015

Islamophobic incidents have spiked notably around the world after Friday's attacks in Paris which left 129 people dead.

Muslims leaders have reported several cases of threats, assaults, vandalism of mosques and Islamic centers over the last few days.

Advocacy leaders have warned Muslims to be prepared for any potential backlash.

“The picture is getting increasingly bleak," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington DC-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"There's been an accumulation of anti-Islamic rhetoric in our lives and that I think has triggered these overt acts of violence and vandalism," he added.

Hooper has noted that the attacks have increased across the United States, as several Republicans running for president in 2016 have called for the suspension of Obama refugee intake policy, citing concerns over rising terror threats.

Following the attacks in Paris, FBI and the police are probing an incident where several bullets were fired at the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden, Connecticut.

Moreover, police are investigating an incident, which took place at the University of Connecticut as the words “killed Paris” were written under the name of an Egyptian student's dorm door.

Nasir Husain, general secretary of the Omaha Islamic Center in Nebraska has noted that Muslims in the US are afraid to visit their local mosques after the attacks. 

"We have men, women and children who come to the masjid to pray every day, and since these Paris attacks, they have reduced the frequency of their visits to the masjid with fear for their lives," Husain said.

The Council on American Islamic Relations has called for the FBI and the police to investigate the recent incident, in which someone spray painted an outline of the Eiffel Tower outside the center's wall, as it is believed to be a possible hate crime. 

Meanwhile in Canada, authorities have reported that a Muslim woman in Toronto was physically and verbally abused by two men on Monday as she went to pick her son up from school.

Authorities have reported that the crime appears to have been “motivated by hate.”

“It was a completely unprovoked attack,” said Constable Victor Kwong. “She was punched all over and kicked.”

The two men are reported to have shouted racial insults as they ripped her headscarf off. She also had her mobile phone and some money stolen, Kwong stated. 

Toronto Mayor John Tory condemned the attack, calling it “disgusting, unacceptable and not reflective of our city’s values.”

“This is actually a time we need to reach out to our Muslim neighbors and friends and recognize the acts that took place in Paris were acts of terrorism and not borne of religion,” Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne.

Meanwhile in France, Zara clothing and accessories retailer terminated the contract of two of its employees after an uproar took place on social media as a Muslim woman was denied access into the store for wearing a headscarf. 

“This type of mentality is unheard of at Zara and there have never been instructions given out to act this way,” said Jean-Jacques Salaun, head of Zara’s France stores.

At least three suspects died on Wednesday, following gunfire exchange and a suicide explosion as French police special forces raided an apartment in northern Paris suburb of Saint Denis, targeting suspects believed to be linked to the Friday night attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead.

TRTWorld and agencies