The air-rifle shooting incident Friday was only one of a recent series of events that have made worshippers at Morton Grove's mosque nervous, said a leader Tuesday.
As Muslims draw their holy month of Ramadan to a close at the end of this week, several incidents have happened, said Rizwan Kadir, immediate past chairman of the Full-Time School, including:
- The Sunday, August 5 shooting in Oak Creek, Wisc., which killed seven people at a Sikh temple.
- A Monday fire at a mosque in Joplin, Mo.
- Weekend vandalism of a sign at a Rhode Island mosque.
- Pig legs thrown onto mosque property in California Tuesday. (Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs unclean; throwing a pig onto mosque property is an insult)
- David Conrad, who lives near the Morton Grove mosque, is charged after Friday, and at least one shot hit the building near where a security guard was standing.
- A home-made soda-bottle bomb, filled with acid and other materials, which someone hurled at an Islamic school in Lombard Sunday night, causing a loud burst but no property damage.
"When you look at this sequence of events, it has taken an emotional toll on us," Kadir explained.
"My biggest consolation is that school (the MCC Full-Time School) was not in session or it would have been worse."
The air-rifle pellets fired on the Morton Grove mosque could have killed or seriously injured someone if they had hit them in the head, he said.
Kadir said the community, including village officials, the Morton Grove police and other faith communities, have been very supportive. On a previous occasion when someone broke a window at the MCC, the St. Martha Catholic Church parish took up a collection to have it replaced, he said, and Muslim worshippers appreciated the kind gesture.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowky released a statement on this weekend's incidents, saying, "“I am relieved no one was injured after a man shot an air rifle at the Muslim Education Center mosque in Morton Grove or after an acid bomb was thrown into the window of a Muslim school in Lombard. However, Muslims in America should always feel safe and protected wherever they are. Sadly, acts of violence against American Muslim communities are too frequent. Even worse is that an environment of intolerance has been perpetuated by irresponsible and inflammatory statements made by elected officials locally and nationwide."
She called for a zero-tolerance policy for threats against any community.