2 Women Vandalized a Mosque With Their Children — And Then Got Arrested
“What really affected me the most is seeing those young children getting real-life lessons in hate.”
“They smell like goat.”
“Mommy, they buy their chicken to rape it.”
These are the words spoken by an unidentified young girl in a video posted to Facebook by Tahnee Gonzales — an Arizona woman who now faces a potential indictment on hate crime charges, as well as third-degree burglary and trespassing, after posting a video of herself, another woman, and three unidentified children breaking into a mosque earlier this month, Huffington Post reports.
The videos, posted March 4, show Gonzales, Elizabeth Dauenhauer, and three children entering the Islamic Community Center of Tempe, saying hate-filled epithets about Muslims, stealing air fresheners, tearing pamphlets off the wall, and letting their children climb on a funeral van.
The two women could now face charges of a hate crime, according to Detective Liliana Duran, after the mosque’s acting imam, Ahmad Al-Akoum, brought the evidence to the Tempe Police Department.
“What really affected me the most is seeing those young children getting real-life lessons in hate, that was the thing that made me really, really upset with those people,” Al-Akoum told Huffington Post. “Those innocent 5-, 6-year-old children are now really learning hate from their parents. It’s really disheartening.”
In the videos, the women, who were reportedly were part of the anti-Muslim group Arizona Patriot Movement, also profess their support of US President Donald Trump.
Read More: The Day After the Mosque Burns
As president, Trump has implemented policies said to target Muslim-majority countries, such as the so-called “Muslim ban,” which has been blocked by multiple federal courts.
His election also coincided with a rise in Islamophobic hate crimes. In the first six months of 2017, 63 mosques were attacked or threatened across the country — or an average of nine incidents per month. Numbers for the rest of the year are not yet available.
Before that, however, Islamophobic “bias incidents” — including hate crimes, bullying, and other activities — were already on the rise, nearly doubling between 2014 and 2016, from 1,341 to 2,213.
This week, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned the women, calling the videos “jarring,” and noting that, “Ironically about all of this is that the trope exists among these people that Muslims teach their children to hate….Yet they are right there on camera, telling the children just extremely inflammatory false information.”
“My hope for these children is that they are able to overcome the hate that is being taught to them by their parents,” Imraan Siddiqi, CAIR Arizona’s executive director, said.
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