Leaders Speak Out on Muslim Center Attack
Though a Morton Grove man was arrested, those who attend services at MEC are fearful of similar incidences; leader says services will go on normally with strong police presence.
By Melanie Santostefano
August 13, 2012
Though the physical damage is minimal after a Morton Grove man shot at the Muslim Education Center faciity (MEC) Friday night with an air pellet rifle, the damage to the psyche (yes, of course, they have been attacked IN THEIR HOUSE OF WORSHIP on Islam's holiest day of the week during Islam's holiest month ... if ever one ought to feel safe, it ought to be in a house of worship, for a Christian, this is tantamount to having an air pellet rifle fired into Church, during a Sunday worship service during Advent) of those who attend services there has been severe.
No one was injured during the incident, which occurred as 500 people were inside the mosque attending Ramadan services (except for the psychic scars, no one was injured -- NEVER underestimate the damage wrought by psychic scars, when it is fully revealed to one that one is nowhere safe from the everyday random violence that wreaks its path along our country's cities - case in point, I returned to my apartment on the far North side of Chicago one evening and discovered the door had been jimmied, and my wallet emptied of $400 in cash - which was damn lucky that is all they took, I had 1,000's of dollars of musical equipment all over the place; I never once again slept in that apartment, unless I was in pass out drunk mode, and eventually, within one month, would turn it over to a homeless former US army who served Viet Nam as a tunnel rat - I paid the rent and utilities for seven months for Eddie and his cousin; let me ASSURE you, such an event takes a toll, and you'll never know just what a toll until you watch the rest of the lives of those who experienced the event unfold).
"In the minds of our people, they are very scared; now when they arrive here they are running into the building as fast as they can, in fear," said Amanadullah Ansari, head of MEC operations (so, we bomb Muslim countries from on high with drones that are manned from 1,000's of miles away in the states, wreaking terror upon them in their own familial country; then our crazies, our hate-mongering, terrorist crazies attack with an air gun - which is much less lethal than a 2,000 or 5,000 pound bomb - NONETHELESS, it is the human psyche's reaction to the sense of violation, the sense of the loss of SAFE HARBOR that is greatest).
David Conrad, 51, was arrested Saturday and charged with three counts of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, which are Class X Felonies, in addition to one count of Criminal Damage to Property, a Class 4 Felony (burn mother fucker, burn).
Ansari said the problems with Conrad, who lives adjacent and east of the MEC, have been ongoing for years (what a surprise, it escalated; nobody did jack shit, and it escalated; what as surprise).
"This is not the first time we've had problems with him, since we applied for a permit for our school, he has been very vocal against us, he hates us," Ansari said.
Ansari said Conrad also has called police on numerous occasions complaining about attendees parked near his home on the street and noise made from shutting car doors (the police, of course, having been called, are required to show up, and listen to the complaint - did one of these "community servants" ever consider dropping a malicious mischief charge on the guy for filing frivolous complaints? - nope, the cops, at least some of them, on some occaisions might have even tried to humor the guy, or expressed their support of him ... shit, he figured he was protected from above ... his hatred it from ignorance, of course, the well spring of all hatreds).
In addition to the mosque itself, there also is unease regarding the children attending the school connected to it (there is an especial FEAR - not mear unease, it is FEAR ... the entire ecumenical community of Morton Grove needs to come out in support of the Mosque, the members of the mosque, and the right to practice whatever religious beliefs people hold -- the CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RIGHT - and what continues to irk me all to pieces, are people who, when I tell them I AM A MUSLIM (albeit, not a very good one, nonetheless, I am VERY proud to be a part of this GREAT FAITH TRADITION, and am so blessed for having come to know the brothers and sisters of my Ummah) and they start going off about how "God" and "Allah" are not the same entity ... IGNORANCE is not bliss - IGNORANCE is IGNORANCE -- bliss, well, there are many ways to attain it - and the study of the Koran is indeed one of these.
"As a former chairman of the school, I am concerned about the safety of all of the children, including my own daughter who is a student," Rizwan Kadir, a Glenview resident and member of the congregation.
Previous reports stated law enforcement was investigating the incident to determine if the incident was in fact a hate crime (of course, it was a hate crime; but again, it is also a crime of ignorance; ignorance and hatred going together like, wellk, peas in a pod, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc, etc). No information was included about that in a press release from Morton Grove Police Sunday.
"The words hate crime are strong words, do I feel that there is hate here, yes," Kadir said.
A bond hearing for Conrad will be held today (he sure as hell better get the same $250,000 that the child batterer in Park Ridge got), and his court date to face the charges against him is tenatively scheduled for Aug. 22.
The incident comes on the heels of a shooting in Oak Creek, WI. where seven people, including the shooter, were killed on Aug. 5 (copy cat - thank heavens, the guy probably was not legally allowed to own a fire arm).
Law enforcement officials deemed that attack an act of domestic terrorism.
"I am hopeful there will come a day when people who do not understand one another's beliefs can come together," Kadir said (indeed, this is a MOST teachable moment - and it is an opportunity - for an inter-faith series of lessons, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - for acknowledged leaders of these faiths to speak of those elements of each religion to are the same, or similar).
Ramadan continues through the end of this week, and Ansari said a strong police presence will remain at the mosque during services to protect attendees (how about also at the mosque to protect the students?).