The family of Marco McMillian, a 33 year-old openly gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi released a statement yesterday saying that he was beaten and set on fire before his lifeless body was dumped near a river. Last Thursday, police arrested a 22-year old man who, like McMillian, is African-American and charged him with the mayoral candidate’s murder. Although the motive for the murder remains unknown, the circumstances of the murder suggest a possible anti-gay hate crime. According to the family, “[w]e feel this was not a random act of violence based on the condition of the body when it was found.”
On the evening of December 27, an Indian immigrant to America named Sunando Sen was pushed by a stranger onto the subway tracks in New York City and struck and killed by an oncoming train.
The following day, the NYPD announced the arrest of Erika Menendez, a 31-year-old woman who had been spotted on security footage fleeing the scene after Sen had been pushed. Upon being detained and taken to a 112th Precinct police station for questioning, Menendez confessed to Sen’s murder and revealed as her motivation a desire to commit violence against Muslims. As she told detectives:
“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims… Ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers, I’ve been beating them up.”
Sunando Sen was not a Muslim, but as a brown-skinned foreigner living in the United States, he was targeted and killed in an act of hate which is the by-product of an ongoing campaign of bigotry and demonisation against Muslims living in America.
Muslim-Americans, as well as Hindus, Sikhs and others who purportedly “look Muslim” have been humiliated, assaulted and in many cases murdered by individuals often galvanised to violence by politicians and media figures who have enthusiastically engaged in public hatemongering against the Muslim community in the country.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago says the College Preparatory School of America, an Islamic school at 331 W. Madison St. in Lombard, was subjected to vandalism on Sunday night.
The council says someone hurled a 7-Up bottle filled with acid and other unspecified materials at the school during the nighttime Ramadan prayers.
During the prayer session, worshipers heard a loud bang and went to find an empty bottle thrown on the window of the school. No one was injured.
No one was in custody as of just before noon Monday, and there were on suspects, Lombard police told CBS 2.
The latest incident comes just two nights after air rifle shots were fired at a mosque in north suburban Morton Grove.