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BREAKING: Shots Fired at Chicago Area Mosque

The MEC mosque

The news of violence gets even more troubling. A neighbor with a long history of opposition to a Chicago area mosque  has fired rifle shots at the mosque wall!:

CAIR: Shots Fired at Illinois Mosque

(CHICAGO, IL, 8/11/12) — The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) said today that two air rifle shots were fired last night at the outer wall of the Muslim Education Center (MEC) mosque in Morton Grove, Ill.

The shots were heard by worshipers who were outside the mosque and were powerful enough to damage the building’s brick wall. (The Muslim Community Center (MCC), of which the MEC is a suburban branch, is the oldest Muslim center in Illinois.)

A neighbor, who has a history of opposition to the mosque, allegedly fired the shots. Morton Grove police, the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office are all investigating the incident.

“This is obviously an alarming situation that all parties are taking very seriously. The weapon allegedly used in this incident is powerful enough to kill, and the projectiles reportedly came within inches of the head of the security guard on duty,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab.

Rehab toured the mosque site today with Muslim community leaders, the local police commander and the assistant state attorney. He said mosque leaders and community members are cooperating with the investigation and that a variety of charges are being considered.

“We have full trust in the professionals handling this investigation. They are doing everything in their power to keep communities safe and ensure that justice is served,” said Rehab.

Earlier this week, CAIR’s national headquarters issued a community safety advisory for American mosques following other incidents targeting Muslim houses of worship in Missouri and Rhode Island and after the deadly shooting attack Sunday on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

In one incident, a Missouri mosque previously targeted by an arsonist burned to the ground. In California, pig legs were left at a southern California mosque and four teens face hate crime charges for harassing worshipers at a northern California mosque.

SEE: CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Pig Legs Left at Proposed Calif. Mosque Site
CAIR: Arson, Vandalism at Mosques Not Uncommon (Joplin Globe)

“We are gravely concerned that we are seeing the rising level of Islamophobic rhetoric in our society translate into violent behavior,” Rehab said.

“This last week of Ramadan is the holiest week of the year for Muslims, and the shots were fired at 8:30, a little after sunset, the busiest time of the day when Muslims come to the mosque to break their long day fast and pray together,” said MEC President Dr. Mohammad Aleemuddin.

“This is a school and a house of worship. It’s a place for our families to pray and our children to learn about their world. And we are being shot at. Community members are terrified, especially children,” said Aleemuddin.

Yesterday, Chicago Muslims spoke out against scaremongering comments made by Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh in which he said that Islamic radicals were living in Chicago’s suburbs.

A diverse group of Muslims, Jews and Christians held a press conference Friday in downtown Chicago to warn against the effects of such irresponsible remarks, especially coming as they did following incidents such as the deadly shooting spree in Wisconsin.

UPDATE I:

“The incident happened shortly after the breaking of the fast. Bullets landed just inches from the security guard on duty #Islamophobia” via.@naeem_V

UPDATE II: 

A 51-year-old man was charged with shooting at a mosque he lives near in north suburban Morton Grove, according to authorities.

Police confiscated a “high-velocity air rifle” from the home of David Conrad, who lives just east of the mosque. He was charged with three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and one count of criminal damage to property, all felonies. He’s scheduled for a bond hearing on Monday. (h/t: BBoyBlue)

UPDATE III:

David Conrad, the shooter: 

 

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  • Sarah Brown

    Critical Dragon – I didn’t see that Spencer statement. Generally I’m wary of slippery slope arguments – almost any political view can be taken to murderous extremes. The main ‘official’ (if you like) counterjihad voices may not call for violence, and perhaps genuinely deplore violence. But Pamela Geller’s rhetoric is so extreme and hateful that she seems to be inviting that kind of comment and the fact they were still up there a couple of days later implies a very careless attitude towards violence, to put it mildly. I couldn’t find a comments policy. Are there any legal problems with this kind of thing? (If I saw an equivalently hateful comment (from a Muslim perspective) on this site I’d think it peculiar it hadn’t been deleted, but I would not feel it had been invited by the site’s ATL content.)

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  • @corey

    Unfortunately Spencer does manage to fool a lot of people into thinking he is a “human rights fighter” as you put it. The truth of the matter is, the man has far more in common with Nazis than he cares to admit.

    Did you hear about this? Its an old story from Hate Watch,

    Muslim Basher Robert Spencer Shows White Nationalist Colors
    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/11/09/muslim-basher-robert-spencer-shows-white-nationalist-colors/

    Now either Spencer is a racist, is indifferent when it comes to racism, as long as he can get more allies, or was so lazy that didn’t do any research on the publication that he got to publish his article. Anyone of those three makes him look really bad, don’t you think?

  • corey

    @critical dragon
    to anybody who has seen these we all know that is a load of crap http://spencerwatch.com/2011/02/11/jihadwatch-calls-for-tienanmen-square-option-in-egypt/ to this http://www.cair.com/barenakedislam/2.htm#comment-199006 and here http://spencerwatch.com/2010/05/10/robert-spencer-and-pamela-geller-promote-video-by-militant-and-genocidal-group/ I still find it quite a wonder that he considers himself a “human rights fighter”, because every time he says that I feel like those who died actually fighting for human rights are turning in there graves.

  • @Broke

    I have a feeling they won’t. This guy is small fry, and none of them will probably want to draw attention to this, because based on all the evidence this guy was motivated by hatred for Muslims. If he looses this doesn’t play well into their narrative, but if they get involved and he looses, which he might despite their involvement, more of people including their followers will know about it. I don’t think they want people to know about all the Mini Breviks out there.

  • broke

    Will Joe Walsh, Geller, and/or Spencer bail him out?

  • @Sarah Brown

    You Wrote,
    —————————————————————————————————
    I don’t often even look at Atlas Shrugs but did recently and found this comment under a story about Alom Shaha (which rather distorts what he said through selective quotation).

    Here is part of the comment – it was published late on Friday and is still up there.

    “We have to make this happen. And the only way it’s not going to is if we leave any Blood-cultees alive. 2+2=4, so few Blood-cultees =few mosques , therefore more Blood-cultees= more mosques , so no Blood-cultees = no mosques.”

    No one challenges this, and someone has recently posted:

    “Hi i belive we must destory islam and nuke muslims countries know.
    We should crush islam and muslims.We do not need islam or muslim.
    If we need use deady force os be .it will bring peace”
    —————————————————————————————————

    Didn’t Spencer claim recently that people involved in the “counter Jihad” never call for violence? He’s just been proven wrong again, and by comments on a “counter jihad” blog no less, even one run by someone who is a close ally of his.

  • #Emperor

    The Chicago Tribune has another update for this story

    Charges against Morton Grove man in connection with shooting at mosque
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-suburban-mosque-says-someone-shot-air-rifle-at-wall-20120811,0,4294450.story

    Also they have more details about the suspect. This is what the man looks like like.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-suburban-mosque-says-someone-shot-air-rifl-003,0,6915698.photo

    Thank “Dissident Citizen @bboyblue” on twitter for alerting me to this.
    https://twitter.com/bboyblue/status/234657315163361281

  • Sarah Brown

    I don’t often even look at Atlas Shrugs but did recently and found this comment under a story about Alom Shaha (which rather distorts what he said through selective quotation).

    Here is part of the comment – it was published late on Friday and is still up there.

    “We have to make this happen. And the only way it’s not going to is if we leave any Blood-cultees alive. 2+2=4, so few Blood-cultees =few mosques , therefore more Blood-cultees= more mosques , so no Blood-cultees = no mosques.”

    No one challenges this, and someone has recently posted:

    “Hi i belive we must destory islam and nuke muslims countries know.
    We should crush islam and muslims.We do not need islam or muslim.
    If we need use deady force os be .it will bring peace”

  • CentristAmericanMuslim

    Yikes, I used to go to that Masjid before moving out to California a decade or so ago. In fact, a lot of my family members and family friends/relatives all go there. I personally know most the board members, principal of the school, etc (grew up with him). My dad, along with a half-dozen or so were very instrumental in purchasing the property (1989-1990). Talk about “too close to home”…:-O

    From what I know, the Masjid has done a great job now in getting the people who go to the Masjid to respect all of the neighbors, especially right now during Ramadan and Taraweeh as prayers end quite late.

    At least ostensibly they know who did this.

  • mindy1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRmBChQjZPs I love the message of peace in this song, how can we make it happen?

  • KnowingTheTruth

    I bet you that the scum who fired those shots was mad that the Nazi idiot who killed those Sikhs wished it was Muslims, so instead he can do the job himself that the Sikh killer was suppose to do.

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  • Anj

    Muslims should work hard to protect everybody.
    Put CCTV outside all mosques, if you can afford security system that links to the local police then that’s better. Security teams to patrol areas when the mosques are busy- voulantry or paid.
    Most importantly teach your children the arts of self defence.
    Remember you are an extended family and in times of crisis you have to pull together!

  • Solid Snake.

    Do you guys think an attempted murder charge will stick? I mean he did choose the busiest time of day and was inches away from hitting the security guard.

  • broke

    whoever is arrested will probably claim “self-defense” like Anders Brevik did

  • @Nassir H.
    I agree. However, I have to add that Sunni commenters on Arab sites reporting the earthquake are celebrating the earthquake in a way similar to that of Islamophobes. They’re basically saying Shiaites deserve this.

    Bigotry of all kinds is disgusting 😐

  • Id love to hear what Joe Walsh has to say about this.

  • Nassir H.

    Dang, lately the “counter-jihadists” have been particularly “active” in physically expressing their opinions regarding Muslims. Check out the comments under news articles about the recent earthquake in Iran (at least 180 killed) if you want to seem them convey their thoughts in a more subtle way.

    Of course Islamophobia doesn’t exist on semantic grounds and also because a report a few years ago said there were more antisemitic hate crimes than Islamophobic ones.

  • Garibaldi

    @Octane, you wrote,

    Denial is quintessential when you do not want to appear as having done anything wrong.

    Anders actions last year and his naming of the people who inspired him should have been a red flag.

    Right wing bigotry and hatred for Muslims will continue to grow because it is acceptable and politically expedient.

    Agreed. I think many were too slow to see the apparent danger emanating from these right-wing bigots. This violent manifestation of Islamophobia in front of our eyes. The last week it self is a testament to that.

  • Al

    @ Detroit Red-
    Akhi I feel that if Muslims form gun clubs the authorities will use it as an excuse to cast even further suspicion upon the Muslim community, causing the further erosion of our rights.

    That said, it is good to own guns as to protect your family from intruders. Even Eric Allen Edborg owns a gun.

    BTW I feel that Edborg will be one of those people who do something stupid at some point

  • Octane

    @Garibaldi

    Denial is quintessential when you do not want to appear as having done anything wrong.

    Anders actions last year and his naming of the people who inspired him should have been a red flag.

    Right wing bigotry and hatred for Muslims will continue to grow because it is acceptable and politically expedient.

  • Detroit Red

    I think it was brother Malcolm who urged us to defend ourselves against Jim Crow.

    If Muslims face such an increase in violence as we did they best start their own rifle clubs to defend themselves.

  • Garibaldi

    In the past week we’ve had the Sikh Temple terrorist attack, arson and vandalisms against mosques in the US and the UK, a South African Muslim man killed for his “Islamic” appearance, and now this shooting. Yet they will deny Islamophobia!

  • This is terrifying 🙁
    Interfaith groups should work harder these days

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