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”.