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Muslims Targeted in Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade Firebombs

2 January 2012 New York Times 49 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Police at the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation in Queens, one of four attacks involving firebombs on Sunday night.

Police at the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation in Queens, one of four attacks involving firebombs on Sunday night.

Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade Firebombs

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS (NYTimes)

A wave of arson attacks spread across eastern Queens on Sunday night, and the police said the firebombings were being investigated as bias crimes — with Muslims as the targets.

No one was hurt in the four attacks, in which homemade firebombs were apparently used. In three of the four attacks, the police said, Molotov cocktails were made with Starbucks bottles.

The first attack occurred just before 8 p.m. at a bodega at 179-40 Hillside Avenue.

Ten minutes later, another crude firebomb was thrown, this time at a private home at 146-62 107th Avenue, and the house caught fire.

Half an hour after that, an Islamic center at 89-89 Van Wyck Expressway was the target. The last attack occurred at a house at 88-20 170th Street, the police said.

The Islamic center, the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, houses one of the most prominent Shiite mosques in New York. According to its Web site it offers funeral services, counseling and free SAT classes. It lists branches in several cities, including Montreal and Islamabad, Pakistan. Calls to the foundation were not returned Sunday night.

The firebomb, made with a glass Starbucks bottle, was thrown at the door of the center, possibly from a van as it drove it by, the police said. The door was blackened, but the building did not catch fire.

A similar weapon was found at the bodega, the site of the first attack, according to the police. The bomb might have been thrown from inside the store, because the counter sustained some damage, the police said.

It was the second attack, on 107th Avenue, police and fire officials said, that caused the most damage.

Shortly after 8 p.m., someone called 911, saying that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown at their home. The house caught fire, and it took more than 60 firefighters about 40 minutes to bring it under control.

In the fourth attack, two bottles were thrown at the house on 170th Street. A spokesman for the Fire Department said that the person who called 911 said they saw a vehicle drive by as the bottles were hurled toward their home. But the flames quickly fizzled.

>> Continue reading: Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade Firebombs

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49 Comments »

  1. Were only Shia bombed?

  2. Does it matter whether they were Shia, Sunni, Sufi? They are still Muslims and they were attacked because of it. There is no need to make a distinction.

  3. bombs … how come I don’t see the word terrorism in the same sentence

  4. I wonder what triggered this?

  5. Why so much hate against innocent.

  6. This behavior is totally disgusting. What do you expect from the descendants of those who burned-out Quakers because they would not fight in the Revolutionary War? Clearly bias crimes then as well as now.

  7. Subhanallah!

  8. Why can’t we all just get along?

  9. This were cowardly attacks meant to cause terror, aka terrorist attacks.

  10. Shame! So much hate!

  11. wonder if fox news would ever air this. haaaa.

  12. man that sounds a lot like what muslims do day to day in the middle east minus blowing themselfs up in the middle of a market or launching rockets with no guidence systems into popullated areas or kidnapping people and cutting their head off on tv.

  13. So stupid and mean spirited. Tiny little minds doing naughty boy things.

  14. @Michael keep drinking the kool aid. You’re an idiot.

  15. Yes it makes a difference. I would like to know if the sunni are bombing the shia or amadiya or if any other muslim denominations are attacking one another.

    Let’s not assume we know who did it. i think it quite possible that besides putting up with theocratic ambitions we also expected to put up with murderous sectarianism.

  16. I have studied in this school and prayed in the mosque.. it’s indeed very shocking news :/

  17. What kool aid are you drinking, Reed?

  18. Some people just still won’t get it… Truely sickening.

  19. sickening

  20. Ha, and these politicians and pundits stand on their pulpits and spread fear about foreign terrorism, anti-American terrorism and demand more Gitmos, indefinite detention and suspension of civil rights. “All terrorists are Muslims!” Bah, what we have to fear, from McVeigh to these deplorable acts to the acts of violence and arson perpetrated annually against Islamic faith centers, abortion clinics, etc., is home-grown terrorism stemming from the same hate and fear the media and politicians spread. And yet these acts they are slow to condemn, and indeed, sometimes tend to condone them.

  21. All the tea baggers spreading hate and alarmist propaganda for the past yr or so, need to be brought up on criminal incitement charges. They were, no doubt, the inspiration for the vicious act.

  22. is “bias crime” a euphemism for “hate crime”?

  23. hate crimes? Would you gentlemen call the beating of that Jewish boy in the NY Metro by a group of islamic thugs a hate crime?

  24. makes me so sad and angry! Damn it

  25. […] Muslims Targeted in Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade … […]

  26. I think that Anon has a point. Given the fact that the biggest killer of Muslims is other Muslims who do not agree with the way other Muslims worship it is possible that this act was of Muslim origin. If it is should the attackers still be charged with Hate crimes?

    Of course it could, just as easily, be non-Muslims but for one aspect of the story that bothers me. If the culprits were non Muslim they would have had to spend quite a bit of time finding out the houses of the Muslims they attacked. Given they attacked specific Muslim houses indicates they knew or had dealings with these specific people in one form or another. To me this points to someone or some group that has dealings with the Mosque as you would have to know the names of the individuals involved in order to get their addresses so as to make specific attacks against Muslim households. Of course I do not have all the information but some redneck that just happens to know Muslim addresses all over the city and throwing firebombs does not make much sense.

  27. This makes me so sick. I hope the catch the criminals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

  28. ” I sure pray for the day when we as a nation of people will grow up from such ignorant and childish behavior. There are 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide does it make sense all of them are not to be trusted by the actions of a mere few. How would Caucasians Christians feel if African Americans hated all of them for slavery? How would they feel if African Americans never got over the KKK who alone hung as many as 5000 African Americans to trees while murdering civil rights workers. African Americans never condemned the whole people and have moved on for the sake of healing. Millions of Native Americans were slaughtered now what if they still hated all Christians for the death of millions of their ancestors. The Native American has moved on knowing those who committed genocide on their people does not represent all of Christians. Millions of people have been murdered under Nazism, Colonialism, Apartheid, Communism and a host of other sick ideologies none of which came from the minds of Muslims. There are horrible people from every group its ignorant to blame an entire group for the unjust actions of a few. “

  29. Michael G & Charles…why are you here? You’re both obviously NOT Americans AGAINST Islamophobia so please go back to your John Birch Society & FAUXNews sites!!!! This site is for those who actually belive that we are ALL God’s children,created in HIS image & belive in Jesus’ command to love our brothers as ourselves…you 2 obviously hate yourselves to spread such discord!!!

  30. In the past there have been stories about people who were angry at something going on in a mosque and they thought they had the right to harm the mosque.

    Strike evil with your hand, huh.

  31. Darla this is America correct, I will pst where i please thank you

  32. Yes, Bashir, there was a disorderly lynching and race riot problem in the US similar to what we see in some muslim places today.

    Boko Haram, Taliban, Janjaweed, etc. these groups seem to rampage at will and i would like to know why.

    The only thing I can think is that as in the old US, the society at large seemed to think it was allowable because it killed mostly Negroes.

    If mobs are killing mostly non muslim or “incorrect” muslim minorities, then the rest of society is going to utter fatuous “condemnations” and do nothing to stop it.

  33. “that we are ALL God’s children,created in HIS image”
    Please,Try to spread this statement to the Middle east first!

  34. @anon: It is true that there is severe Sunni vs Shia hatred in parts of the world, but this doesn’t seem to be such an attack. Also, Ahmadiyya are not Muslim. Yes, they believe in the Qur’an and Muhammad, peace be upon him, but the fact that they believe in another prophet after Muhammad automatically makes them non-Muslim. We don’t consider Druze and Baha’i to be Muslim for the same reason. If you still insist on them being Muslim, we could consider Muslims to be Christians and Jews by the same logic. I’m not saying Muslims should hate/attack/persecute Druze, Baha’i, and Ahmadiyya, I’m simply saying they’re not Muslim.

  35. Strictly speaking, each church could consider all the others to be non Christian.

    We used to murder each other over points of doctrine, but we were able to quit doing that. The social cost was too great I suppose. I wonder when will the muslims learn that lesson.

  36. @jon, charity begins at home…….so why should anyone go to middle East and preach?

  37. because they do not agree with above mentioned statement, because of that.

  38. @anon: Do you know anything? Sunni vs Shia happen partly due to U.S. Interference. Saddam Hussein (Sunni) used to be our ally. We gave him weapons and told him to invade Iran (Shia), and we overlooked the fact that he was slaughtering the majority of his own country’s population (Shia). When we got rid of Saddam (Sunni), we installed a democracy run by a thug (Shia) who is now wants revenge for what Saddam (Sunni) did to the rest of the population (Shia) by removing certain officials (Sunni) from the government. Also, we support radical Saudi Arabia (Sunni) even though they oppress minorities in their population (Shia). Our ally Saudi Arabia (Sunni) sided with Bahrain’s monarchy (Sunni) in the recent protests and it even sent troops to suppress the protesters (Shia).

    As you can see, there are other factors than just religious differences that fuel Sunni vs Shia conflicts. Get a clue.

  39. @anon: Also we’re not talking about the church, this article was about this attack. It is NOT a Sunni vs Shia attack, it is an Islamophobic attack. Because of your hatred of Muslims/Islam, you won’t accept the fact that Muslims are treated like crap by non-Muslims in some parts of the world (yes, I am aware of the fact that the reverse happens sometimes), and instead you choose to blame this attack on Muslims. News Flash: non-Muslims can be terrorists too. Get a clue. And stop trolling.

  40. @anon: By the way, 24 influential Muslim scholars (Grand Muftis and Grand Ayatollahs) signed the Amman Message, which 1) condemned terrorism, 2) made clear what is considered to be Islam 3) came to a consensus as to who a Muslim is and 4) came to a consensus that one Muslim cannot consider another Muslim to be “kafir”. Consequently, the Amman Message states that all Shia madhabi (schools of thought), all Sunni madhabi (schools of thought), the Ibadhi madhab (school of thought), Sufism (mystical interpretation of the Qur’an), Ash’ari thought (literal interpretation of the Qur’an) and Salafi thought (conservative interpretation of the Qur’an) are all valid interpretations of Islam. The 24 scholars were:

    A. Sunni Fatwas

    H.E. Grand Imam Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Shaykh Al-Azhar
    Professor. Dr. Ali Jumu’a, Grand Mufti of the Egyptian Arab Republic
    The Grand Council for Religious Affairs, Turkey
    The late Grand Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaro, Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic, May Allah have mercy upon him
    Shaykh Said Abd Al-Hafiz Al-Hijjawi, Grand Mufti of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
    The Islamic Fiqh Academy, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    Shaykh Dr. Yusuf Abdallah Al-Qaradawi, Director of the Sunna and Sira Council, Qatar
    H.E. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Vice President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Saudi Arabia
    Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani, Pakistan
    Shaykh Abdullah al-Harari al-Habashi, Lebanon

    B. Shi’i Ja’fari Fatwas

    Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Ali Khamenei
    Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani
    Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Muhammad Said Al-Hakim, Noble Najaf
    Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Ishaq Al-Fayad, Noble Najaf
    Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Bashir Al-Najan, Noble Najaf
    Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Shaykh Hassan Ismail Al-Sadr
    Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Fadil Lankarani
    Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Taskhiri, General Secretary, Forum for Proximity of the Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence, Iran
    Al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn FadlAllah
    The Imam Al-Khoei Benevolent Foundation, United Kingdom

    C. Shi’i Zaydi Fatwas

    Shaykh Muhammad bin Muhammad Ismail Al-Mansur and Shaykh Humud bin Abbas Al-Mu’ayyad
    Shaykh Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Wazir (Zaydi), General Secretary, The Islamic Unification and Works Movement, Yemen

    D. Ibadi Fatwas

    Shaykh Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Khalili, Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman

    E. Letter from His Highness the Aga Khan

    Letter from His Highness the Aga Khan

    Please feel free to shut up about all attacks on Muslims being Sunni vs Shia.

  41. what part of charity begins at home don’t u understand Viola? we need to educate the stupid ignorants here first then tackle the idiots abroad.

  42. I think if the idiots abroad could clean up their act it might improve their relationship with the rest of the world.

    They have arrested a suspect. Interesting how these types forget the ubiquity of surveillance videos.

    The giant fuss kicked up over every little perceived slight compared to the piles of burning corpses elsewhere…what rot.

  43. Without the idiots abroad, Spencer et al would have little to write about and Wafa Sultan would still be a muslim.

    The shia/sunni conflict predates the creation of the US by quite a few years I believe.

  44. in reply to ”
    Michael G & Charles…why are you here? You’re both obviously NOT Americans AGAINST Islamophobia so please go back to your John Birch Society & FAUXNews sites!!!! This site is for those who actually belive that we are ALL God’s children,created in HIS image & belive in Jesus’ command to love our brothers as ourselves…you 2 obviously hate yourselves to spread such discord!!!

    //Darla Moses Witmer via Facebook

    Darla I have been posting on this site for more than a year, much longer than you have been here. You can look up my posts, I do not always agree with what is said on this forum but I have never advocated harm against Muslims. I do not know the facts of this case but I do not see how it could be random given what was in the article which indicated that the houses involved were Muslim.

  45. Most people are aware of the videos and don’t attack.

    If one hears that a place has been attacked but has no record on video because they were off, or broken, one could assume it was an inside job because who else would have such knowledge.

  46. Turns out the guy did have dealings with the Mosque, it seems they would not let him use the bathroom on more than one occasion.

  47. @anon:

    Wafa Sultan was never Muslim, she was Alawi. Alawis worship Muhammad’s cousin Ali, and are therefore not Muslim. Also, Wafa Sultan claimed that she witnessed that one of her college professors was killed in her classroom right in front of her but that’s not true. The murder happened off campus, and Sultan wasn’t even around when it happened, according to an InFocus interview with Adnan Halabi, a close friend of Wafa Sultan. Try again. As for the Sunni/Shia conflict, yes it predates the U.S., however the U.S. made it worse with its invasion of Iraq and support of Saudi Arabia. Try again. Also, Robert Spencer does anything to make Muslims look bad. Even when Muslims do good things, he makes it look bad. When Muslims support their community/hold interfaith events, he dresses it up as some sort of Hamas-linked meeting. Whenever Muslims commit crimes that are in no way related to their religion, he makes it look like “jihad”, e.g. when a Muslim was arrested for drunk driving, he claimed it was “jihad” even though drinking is against Islam. Even when Muslims themselves don’t commit crimes, but someone who LOOKS Muslim commits a crime, its still our fault, according to him, e.g. he claimed a terrorist attack commited by a guy named Nordine Amrani, a non-Muslim, was actually “jihad”, just because the name “Amrani” sounds Arabic. Try again.

  48. SKhan, it is not too hard to see through Spencer and figure out when he is spinning a yarn.

    There are people in the west who have fled persecution in muslim societies; they and their descendants, like Spencer, may have a hatred of muslims.

    Wafa was disgusted that a professor was killed for religious reasons. Alawi may be very strange and “incorrect” but they should not be murdered simply for what they believe.

    Thanks for the details, but the essence remains the same. Go look at Wafa rant on youtube.

  49. Anon, can you not understand what I’m saying? Yes, nobody should be killed for their beliefs (see Surah al Kafirun in the Qur’an). What I keep telling you is Wafa Sultan never witnessed the murder of her professor. Therefore, she is lying.

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