Fresno police say a lone suspect vandalized the Islamic Cultural Center in Northeast Fresno on Christmas morning. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says it is clear the incident is a hate crime which is why the FBI is also investigating this case.
Except the Islamophobic incident turned out to be the work of... Asif Mohammad Khan, who had "posted on social media that Osama bin Laden was the “most inspirational person in his life.” But surely the Islamophobic Houston mosque Christmas fire had to be real. It just had to be.
Mustafaa Carroll, who is the executive director for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on law enforcement to investigate, citing a recent spike in vandalism to mosques that have prompted hate crime investigations.
"We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire," he said in a statement.
Advocacy groups believe there has been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in recent weeks that can be linked to the mass shooting in California and the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. And they say that Muslims are fearful the backlash could lead to further harassment and violence.
"The spike began with the Paris attacks and has intensified with what happened in San Bernardino and now with what Donald Trump is proposing," Ibrahim Hooper, lead spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, previously said. "I have never seen such fear and apprehension in the Muslim community, even after 9/11."
Fear! Apprehension! Terror! Trump!
And the actual Islamophobic fire was set by... a Muslim. According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.
Moore told investigators he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home. Moore told investigators he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he left. He had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.
I just bet he did.
Muslims really need to stop vandalizing and torching mosques on Christmas. It just makes them look Islamophobic.