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Executive Editor: Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Chronology of Islam in America (2019)
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

March 2019

As Ilhan Omar endures anti-Muslim racism, most lawmakers in Congress remain silent
March 1:
The West Virginia statehouse on Friday allowed an Islamophobic organization to display an anti-Muslim poster targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
WV Act for America — designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group — placed the  poster outside the chamber to commemorate the state’s GOP day. The poster depicted an image of Omar beneath an image of the burning World Trade Center towers with the words, “‘Never Forget’” — You said.. I am proof that you have forgotten.” Act for America also distributed anti-Muslim articles and pamphlets, including one entitled, “Readin’, Writin’, and Jihadin’ The Islamization of America Public Schools.”The anti-Muslim display was the second Omar has faced in one day. On Friday, the congresswoman tweeted an image of graffiti at a gas station in her home state which said, “Assassinate Ilhan Omar.” “No wonder why I am on the ‘Hitlist’ of a domestic terrorist and ‘Assassinate Ilhan Omar’ is written on my local gas station,” Omar wrote on Twitter Friday. [Think Progress]

Donald Trump doesn’t think white nationalism is on the rise, data show otherwise
March 20: It’s becoming a pattern with President Donald Trump: downplaying the seriousness of violence associated with white nationalism. A reporter asked Trump if he saw a global rise in white nationalism following reports that the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter was steeped in the ideology. Trump responded: "I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s a case. I don’t know enough about it yet." Documenting incidents of white nationalism can be challenging. Nevertheless, data from multiple sources suggest extremist attacks associated with white nationalism and far-right ideology is on the rise. High-profile incidents in recent years include the mass shootings at a synagogue in Pittsburgh and at a black church in Charleston, as well as pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats. Trump’s statements about the "fine people" on both  sides at the 2017 Charlottesville, Va., march, as well as his travel ban which lists several Muslim-majority nations, have all drawn more attention to reports about extremism. The key question in determining whether an incident is driven by white nationalism is whether the perpetrator subscribed to the ideology as seen in organizational connections, social media or a personal manifesto. That isn’t as clear as it sounds. There is no single definition of white nationalism, partly because of debatable overlap among white nationalists, the alt-right, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. Attempts to define these groups prompts more debate. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s growing list of hate groups, for example, has critics who say it maligns some conservative groups that are not extremists. The center says that the number of white nationalist groups  surged from 100 to 148 in 2018, noting that the groups have largely retreated from activism following the rally in Charlottesville. [PolitiFact]

Violent white supremacy is nothing new, especially in America
March 22:
The terrorist attack by a white supremacist who killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is just the latest in a series of attacks by angry white bigots, whether they identify as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, the alt-right, or whatever new label they’re claiming, even as Iowa Rep. Steve King (R-Bigotry) wonders how those terms became offensive. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the number of hate groups in the U.S. is at an all-time high of 1,020. The FBI saw a rise in the number of domestic terrorist arrests in late 2018. White supremacists committed the most extremist killings in 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League. We are horrified by white supremacists' terrorist killings, such as the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018 that killed 11 worshipers. Or the June 2015 shooting in a prayer service at a Charleston, South Carolina, African-American church that killed nine people. Or the 2014 shooting deaths of three people at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas, where the gunman yelled, “Heil Hitler!” Or the 2012 shooting in a Sikh gurdwara in a Milwaukee suburb that killed six people. Or the 2008 shooting in a Knoxville, Tennessee, Unitarian church that killed two people, done by a man who described his hatred for African-Americans (along with Democrats and liberals) to police after his arrest. As the New Zealand attack shows, the white supremacist movement is not limited to the U.S. One of the worst incidents was a 2011 terrorist attack in Norway in which an anti-immigrant extremist, Anders Breivik, killed 77 people through a bombing and a mass shooting. The New Zealand shooter’s “manifesto” listed the Norwegianperpetrator as an inspiration, as did the writings of a Maryland Coast Guard lieutenant who planned a mass attack but was arrested in February before carrying out his scheme. The term “going Breivik” is used by those in white supremacist circles to show a full commitment to the cause. Racism has always existed and persisted in human history. In the U.S., the subjugation of Native Americans by killing them and taking their land and the institution of slavery itself are by definition violence by white supremacy. [Dailykos - By Sher Watts Spooner]

Fallout of New Zealand Mosque massacre? Christchurch attack note left at fire at CA mosque
March 25: Perhaps in the first attack on a mosque in the USA directly linked to the massacre of worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 
a mosque in the Southern California city of Escondido was briefly lit on fire on Sunday (March 24) in an apparent arson attempt. The blaze was extinguished by members of the Islamic Center of Escondido, and no one was injured. But police said that a note was found in the mosque’s parking lot that referenced the recent shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that left 50 people dead. 
Reporting the arson at the Escondido Mosque, Washington Post said:  “With rapid velocity, the violence visited on the Pacific island nation appears to have traversed the globe, choosing as one of its first American targets an unassuming, beige-colored place of Islamic worship, flanked by palm trees….“It’s clear from the public platform sought by the alleged perpetrator that he intended to inspire copycat attacks — a point acknowledged by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern when she promised to deny him “notoriety” by refusing even to speak his name. “The acts apparently influenced by the Christchurch shooter’s crusade may not be as deadly as those he is accused of carrying out on March 15; the methods might not be as technologically advanced. But the oxygen he breathed into anti-Muslim hatred has already been felt across continents, prompting new vows from religious minorities that they will not be cowed.” [AMP Report]

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