Maybe it was a “love” crime

This past Friday, members of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, Ohio, were forced to evacuate their mosque during maghrib prayers. Someone – no one is sure who – allegedly released a “chemical irritant” through the windows of the mosque. Two people were hospitalized, and several were treated at the scene for troubled breathing and burning eyes.  This incident occurred just days after DVDs of “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” were distributed free-of-charge in the city’s newspapers, alongside a paid advertising campaign about the film, which is being distributed in more than 70 papers nationwide. (To learn about the film, click here).

Further investigation hasn’t turned up anything conclusive just yet. While emergency personnel reported a suspicious odor in the basement of the building, they also said that there was no indication of this being a hate crime. You know – despite it targeting a specific religious group, in a building designated for the gathering of that group, during a major religious holiday.

* See Aziz Poonawalla’s take on the incident here.

* NPR reports on the organization responsible for distributing DVDs of “Obsession”.

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8 thoughts on “Maybe it was a “love” crime

  1. There’s been a near-blackout in the news media about this. The same media that helped blast the Islamophobic hate speech all over, which may have incited this terrorist attack?

  2. “You know – despite it targeting a specific religious group, in a building designated for the gathering of that group, during a major religious holiday.”

    EXACTLY.

  3. I’ve resisted commenting on this story for several reasons, but I’ve been bothered by a question since I first read it. While I find the events described appalling I must confess my ignorance about what constitutes a “Hate” crime. If you kill a man for his wallet is he any less dead than if you kill him because you “Hate” him?

  4. Just an update: apparently a can of pepper spray was found inside the mosque, and a 10-year old boy whose family attends is being interviewed. Doesn’t erase my disgust for the clarion fund, but news is news…

  5. I live in Dayton, and I had no knowledge of this incident until today! I was researching Eid, because I have a friend who is Muslim and I was curious to learn more about the holiday. While searching the web, I stumbled across several articles on this event. Regardless of whether or not this really was a hate crime, I would at least have expected it to be reported in the local media. People deserve to know when things like this happen! This is important, unsettling news! I had heard of “Obsession”, however, through my college’s philosophy and religion club. I am appalled that this film is handed out freely and widely by the media, yet the release of a chemical substance in a local mosque goes virtually unnoticed?! Dayton needs to wake up. The media needs start reporting the news fairly, honestly, and without this blatant, militant prejudice.

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