In the aftermath of 9/11, there was a drastic increase in Islamophobia with countless cases of harassment and violence against Muslims in western countries. In addition to the attacks against Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim, mosques too became targets of Islamophobic violence. In the past two decades, there have been hundreds of documented cases of vandalism, arson, hate mail, shootings, and bombings against mosques in western countries. From the deadly 2017 Quebec mosque massacre to the 2019 mosque attack in Christchurch, Muslims in western countries have increasingly found their places of worship under threat. Attacks aren’t just limited to western countries as Islamic places of worship have become targets in China, Myanmar, and India. Campaigns of intimidation and harassment are not limited to far-right individuals and groups; governments too have played a role in targeting mosques.
Following 9/11 in the United States, law enforcement including the FBI carried out covert illegal surveillance operations at mosques using informants to entrap Muslims. Additionally, over the last two decades, French authorities have taken aim at indiscriminately shutting down mosques, resulting in severely impacting Muslims’ rights to freely practice their religion. While academics and community organizations have worked to track incidents of harassment, vandalism, and violent attacks, there still remains discrepancies around documentation as many cases go unreported. Join The Bridge initiative and an international panel of experts as we discuss how mosques and Islamic organizations in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States are dealing with growing threats of violence, and the impact of these attacks on the Muslim communities around the world.