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Terror Double Standard (Pipe-Bomb Explosion @ Florida Mosque vs. Times Square Plot)

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By Hesham A. Hassaballa, a Chicago doctor and writer. Cross-posted with permission from www.Godfaithpen.com:

On the evening of May 10, there was a small explosion and fire outside a Jacksonville, FL mosque. According to a fire department investigation and officials of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida, worshipers heard a loud noise outside the mosque, and there was a small fire that was extinguished. The damage was described as “very minimal” by a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue spokesperson. Thank God, no one was injured in the attack.

According to the Council on American Islamic Relations, mosque officials reported that an unknown white man in his 40s entered the mosque on April 4 and shouted “Stop this blaspheming.” He was chased away by worshipers, but he reportedly said, “I will be back.” Now, it has been determined that the explosion was due to a pipe bomb, and it is being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism. “It was a dangerous device, and had anybody been around it they could have been seriously injured or killed,” says Special Agent James Casey.

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Yet, you would not be faulted for not knowing that it even occurred. Most of the news coverage has been local in Florida. There has not been nearly the same amount of coverage at the failed bombing in Times Square.

Now, of course, the size of this pipe bomb is nothing compared to the size of the truck bomb allegedly placed by Faisal Shahzad. The mosque bombing was perpetrated by one individual, and it increasingly looks like the Taliban in Pakistan were behind the attempted bombing in Times Square. Obviously, an attack on Times Square in the middle of a tourist/theater district is much more of a story than an attack on a mosque in Florida.

But just as the Times Square bomb could have really done harm, the pipe bomb could have also done a lot of harm. FBI officials noted that the blast radius could have been 100 feet. In addition, The FBI Special Agent in Florida, James Casey, had added: “We want to sort of emphasize the seriousness of the thing and not let people believe that this was just a match and a little bit of gasoline that was spread around.” The attempted attack on Times Square was rightly called an act of terrorism. But, as this news report says: “The FBI is looking at this case as a possible hate crime, and now they’re analyzing it as a possible act of domestic terrorism.”

A pipe bomb that explodes outside a mosque causing a fire a possible act of domestic terrorism? What if a pipe bomb exploded in Times Square? Or outside a church? Would this be called terrorism? Of course it would…and it should. So should this attack on the Jacksonville, FL mosque.

It must be said that this is not the only incident of an attack on a house of worship. Black churches have been attacked in this country for decades, and people have been killed. It is an ugly stain on the fabric of our nation’s history. Yet, so is this. Houses of worship are sacred spaces that must be respected, protected, and kept safe.

It is heinous wherever it occurs: whether it is a church in Baghdad, a Church in Birmingham, a synagogue in Chicago, a mosque in the West Bank, or a mosque in America. And we should also call a spade a spade: a pipe bomb outside a mosque is terrorism. But, because no Muslim is behind it, it does not get much attention. This must stop.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Yusuf Smith

    May 18, 2010 at 7:29 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I noticed something similar in a case involving an idiot who tweeted a threat to blow up an airport in the UK and was fined for it last week. The press went on a huge whinge-fest and it was obvious that they thought a white guy saying such a thing was just joking and should be taken as such. Of course, if the guy had a Muslim name he would have got sent to jail, and nobody would have complained. I posted this in response.

  2. Westerngirl

    May 18, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    I’m so sorry to hear this. This is all part of the narrative of ‘Evil Muslim barbarians’ and it is disgusting. I will be publicising this article as much as I can.

  3. suhail

    May 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    Anyways you can see this hypocrisy in many countries. Take for instance India. Ajmal Kasab who was convicted by the court for 26/11 attacks on Mumbai was given a swift trial and death sentence was given to him. Now the hindu extremists who killed scores of muslims in Mecca Masjid blasts, Ajmer blasts and Malegaon blasts which killed scores of muslims around 100+ their trials are going on and will go on for years. Not a single hindu extremists who was responsible for Gujarat or any other incident has been given just a swift trial and death penalty. This shows the bias against the muslims and make the muslim minorities in places like India restless. There was a article on TOI that how muslim youths are being detained, hounded by the police for no reason at all.

  4. Shoeb K

    May 22, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    @Suhail

    People like you are one tarck minded – you do not see any wrong in what our brothers are doing, you do not see the mayhem they create worldwide, you do not see how they make us look like laughigstock or make people afraid of us, you do not see how their behavior (exploding bomb in Manhattan, killing fellow army officers, planning to bomb subways etc tc)’ you only see how the “other party” is treated “favorably” in media.

    So now, if it is a “minority” issue, what is happening in our motherland Pakistan? Muslims are killing Muslim brothers there. And what about the media there?

    Unless we come clean criticizing this nihilist murder spree among our brothers, we are not going to get anywhere. We can cry about media until the cow comes home; nothing is going to change fundamentally about us – we remain the most backward in the world; with autocratic leaders and kings who create wealth only for them. Zardari’s $100MM in Swiss bank, Pervez’s millions, list just goes on..

  5. BrownS

    May 23, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    This is not surprising at all. It’s human nature in fact, to other-ize people and have different standards. We should be behaving keeping this reality in mind, not expecting some kind of equal treatment and then crying foul when time and again it’s shown to be false. They are all canards – when people want something they will twist the law to get it.

    Expanded on here: http://fikrpad.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/hypocrisy-in-equality-and-secularism/

  6. Gurabah

    May 23, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    salamu alaykum,

    To:Shoed K

    I think what brother suhail is saying is in fact an important point. When we look at the West, Media is hypocritical when it comes to showing and reporting the attrocities committed against American Muslims inside America, like the “article”. Western Media runs with anything a Muslim do and they use that to bash all Muslims regardless if they are good muslims. Sometimes this frustration makes other weak muslims to react maybe not in the best of ways and i agree with you that we have a few bad apples. But in light of it, the world should no bash and condem all the rest of the Muslims because of these bad apples. All we can do is to pray for them that they are rightly guided, inshAllah!
    For the rest of us we should demand respect and fairness and justice, and fight for that regardless of what is happening elsewhere. Our Faith calls for that!!!
    How many incidents that happens to american Muslims that are not even reported……..i wonder???

  7. Tony

    June 21, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    That’s it! If we called terrorist attacks “hate crimes” in the US, there would be a 100% conviction rate and actual demagoguery in the press as these acts should receive. These militant nut jobs would even get bad press in the New York Times. Why didn’t I think of this before?

  8. Pingback: More on anti-Muslim tensions in Jacksonville | Florida Independent

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