Oregon, USA
December 01
Happy to be here among friends.


Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 28, 2010 5:09PM

Someone Set Fire to The Islamic Center in my Town

Rate: 36 Flag

I am hurting.

At 2:30 a.m., an arsonist set fire to the Salman al-Farsi Islamic Center. The police found “plenty of evidence” to confirm that it was arson.

This is the Masjid where my Muslim kids worshiped. This is where I visited post-9/11 for an open house. This is in my community.

The would-be Portland, Oregon, bomber, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, visited this Masjid only three times and was not a member of the community. In 2009, the Masjid manager contacted the FBI and gave them this OSU student’s name and said that he held very radical views.

We have our own Corvallis Muslim community to thank that tragedy was averted at the Pioneer Square Christmas Tree lighting where 10,000 Oregonians were in attendance.This highlights the fact that our first-line defense against terrorism on American soil is our American Muslim community.

Like every Sunday afternoon, the Islamic Center is holding a gathering which is open to the entire community. This time, it is an old-fashioned American barbeque. I have made a cucumber, yogurt and mint salad and will go to stand with my friends.

I want them to know that not all Americans hate them.

I want them to know that our community will heal together. 

Subsequent posts on this topic:

Oregon Muslims Gathered Last Night in Solidarity

No Fear in Corvallis Last Night

Why Hate Speech is as Dangerous as Fire


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This makes me so sad, this is what all the hate filled people want, to divert attention, to blame innocent people for the acts of the insane. I am so sorry this happened but love that you go to stand beside them.
I am very sad to hear this...xox
How sad and awful is all of this.
Hate is a four letter word.
Rated with hugs
I am with you there in spirit, I am so sorry for their loss and the hurt to the community. Peace be with all of you.
I knew there was an informant but I'm so damn glad it was a member of the Muslin community. Now maybe some, I doubt the radicals, will believe it's not the religion, it's the people using religion as a crutch to kill Americans!
Thank you, my friends.

I am off to my barbeque. I will return and probably blog it.

(Hey Robin, good to see you again!)
Good to see you, Steph! xox
you are a good teacher for others.

O'Stephanie, that is a terrible event and I am sorry that it happened. One thing these troublemakers forget is that many, many members of the Islamic faith are our allies around the globe! Too much hate going around and not enough intelligent thinking with these people who are burning buildings and engaged in other acts of violence.
I'm there with you in spirit.
I applaud you for standing up with your friends in their time of need. People get so brainwashed and then take unwarranted action against the wrong people. It is mindless ignorance and needs to be fought with all we have.
What the hell??
How sad I am, and how proud I am to see you not only writing about it here but going to eat there.
I am outraged that this happened.
"tis a sad thing here Steph. Hate will never win. Not ever.
I'm very sorry this awful thing was done. I'm sure your friends appreciated your support.

Fear and anger make people act on their absolute worst instincts. We need all the level headed people we can get in this country!
Horrible and infuriating. You are special, but you do not stand alone against this kind of madness and evil. R and Hugs!
O'Steph, I hope all the members of other faith communities (and none at all) join hands in a circle around the Islamic Center as a way of somehow saying We're All In This Together.

Your salad sounds like one step in that direction.

Hugs to you, and anger directed at the dangerousness of small-minded hatred, whatever the stripe.
I am reminded of the 2004 election aftermath and how the I'm Sorry website allowed us to speak to the world individually, and as a group. I wish that we could do something similar to show our support - not all of us are ignorant and hate-filled!
This must have just happened, as I didn't hear any news about this in Eugene this AM. The vote on the Governor's race in Oregon and the 2008 election shows just how many d*mf*k people there are out there. I will call some people in Eugene, and see what can be done in solidarity.
I thought of you when I heard this news. When this happens---Portland is everybody's town.
Of course the arsonists are terrorists, too, and it should go without saying that anyone who has information about them should turn them in. Not only that, but in many ways they represent more of a danger than Osman Mohamud ever did, since they're free right now and not under FBI surveillance the way that he was the whole time he was planning.
It makes me happy to know you are standing with them in solidarity. And bringing cucumber, mint and yogurt salad~mmm.~r
"This highlights the fact that our first-line defense against terrorism on American soil is our American Muslim community. "

I think that this point needs reiteration, many times over, in order to get through to most American. Thanks for this Steph.
O'Stephanie, I'm so sorry for you and the members of that Islamic Center. I'm also sorry for all the people in your community to have more hatred and fear than the day before. I'm grateful that you go with a desire to spread peace and love.
o'stephanie, I was horrified to hear about this...so so sorry to hear. Especially for those kids.
Good for you O'Steph for standing with them. such sad state of affairs.
Thanks to all of you. Your kind and supportive words are balm on my weary soul tonight.

I took my salad up to the women's place which smelled of burnt wood. The office that was burned was directly under us. The women opened the windows and aired it out, bustling around laying out food and corralling children.

I love these women. They go around the room greating everyone with kisses on each check. I marvel anew at the happiness and joy they take in each other. Their children go from one woman to the next so you cannot tell who the mother is.

I tell them that I am here to support them. They bring me a plate of food with colffee, desert with tea. I feel like an honored guest. Another woman from town has come tonight, at first to bring flowers and a sign to put out front then asked to join in. She worries about her husband, who she says is not social, down below with the men. I tell her that everyone is very friendly and will treat him well.

They have trust in our community and believe that this is a one-time occurance.

A college-aged girl approaches me, smiling and says, "I know that face." I last saw her as a fifth grader. We hug and kiss checks. She is in political science and talk model UN and model Arab League. We will contact each other on facebook. We talk about small things that happened at school and she tells me where my other students are and what they are doing.

My very favorite friend, mother of my favorite boy, comes in late and makes a beeline for me. We giggle, we hug, we sit holding hands and catch up on our lives and children. I will be invited again when they have a gathering.

I hope that I gave as much to them as they gave to me tonight.

Goodnight my OS friends. I am so glad to have you and am so thankful for you.
I saw this on the news tonight and am sending much love and healing to you and your community.
and it will heal bc of efforts such as yours r.
All of America is hurting together with your church community.
It is a direct result of the US Federal Government and their billions spent on war. Our government blows up other people's countries, burn, bomb, destroy entire cities, for the Pentagon's funding, and sport.
Our government blows up our own buildings, burns up our own people to start a war, for the Pentagon, for Washington.
The pain has a ripple effect, causing regular people to become "terrorists", one burns a Mosque, while someone else burns a Christmas tree. Those people would have been enjoying holy days with their families.........if Obama were not spending so much money on the destruction of so many other countries, including our own.

Those trillions he spends, to bankrupt America....those billions spent on WAR causes much pain.

My prayer for this holiday season, Christians, Muslims, Jews, ALL Americans, stop making war on each other, and re-direct their outrage to the source. Washington DC, and a corrupt Chicago gangster.....that never was eligible to be a President of the United States.
How many more Mosques, Churches, children, burned .....for Obama's Peace Prize?
Thanks to all of you this morning. I also thank the OS editors for featuring this post.

Thanks New old lefty for being active about gathering forces to add solidarity. Your activism and heart constantly amazes and humbles me.

I intend to be more involved in my Muslim community and do what I can to further understanding and acceptance.

Women always bring food to comfort during times of trouble. A salad can contain the whole world of love. They ate every speck.
Um I'm pretty sure they are aware that not all Americans hate them. They live, work and worship freely in America. The countries they fled, now there's some serious hate going on there.

I am not sure they know that all Americans like them. Something about arson says otherwise. There are documented hate crimes against Muslims all the time.

The Oregon US attorney addressed them last night at the barbeque and said that he, AG Holder and President Obama were with them. Their safety has been assualted. This community has much healing that needs to be done.
You are a wonderful friend-- to many. Thanks for this feeling and telling post.
Thanks, O'K.

It was so good to talk to you today. Stay well.
It is difficult in the best of times to accept those that are "not like us". Such is the closed-mindedness of American society, where there is always a "them" to counterpoint "us".

I wrote a piece some time ago that may interest you. Perhaps, whilst it is "preaching to the choir", you may find points that are worth making to some of your fellow Oregonians.


Regardless, your community has my sympathies. It is frightening how, during the course of "making us safe", there always comes to the front a psychopathology that in fact makes us all "less safe".
As a former Oregonian (from Portland) I was disheartend when I heard about the fire. In discussing the incident at Pioneer Courthouse Square, an acquaintance of mine actually told me yesterday that killing others was one of the 5 tenets of Islam. How do we educate people????
Thank you for your comment. This:

"It is frightening how, during the course of "making us safe", there always comes to the front a psychopathology that in fact makes us all "less safe"."

Hatred makes us all less safe.

Proud and Progressive,
Ignorance is endemic, it seems. Sometimes, friends can surprise you. Unpleasantly so in that case.
When a person comes up with something so off base, it can be a challenge to try to explain. So far to go.