Last July 3, 2006 in Maine, a group of Muslim men praying at a Lewiston mosque were thrown for a jolt when somebody threw a severed pig's head into the mosque.
Brent Matthews, 33, of Lewiston, feeling guilty about the whole thing, came the next day to the police department and confessed to a detective that he had thrown the head and was charged with desecration of a church, a misdemeanor. The charge is considered a hate-bias crime, so Matthews' case will be referred to the Attorney General's office for further investigation, Lt. Don Mailhot said.
The next day, Wednesday, Mainers seeking to show support for the Muslim community held a solidarity rally in the city's Kennedy Park to denounce the act. The rally drew about 150 people, who applauded frequently as speakers criticized the incident and pledged to work against intolerance.
"If any one group is threatened, if any one group lives in fear, then there is no telling who will be the next target. It must stop here. It must stop now," said Rabbi Hillel Katzir, speaking on behalf of the Lewiston-Auburn Interfaith Clergy Association.
Abdi Sheikh, administrative head of the Lewiston Auburn Islamic Center, the local mosque, calls for making Maine a safe place for everyone, as Gov. John Baldacci, left, and Rabbi Hillel Katzir, also speakers at the rally, listen.
A few weeks later a hate crime occurs in Seattle. In Maine, no one was injured, but a few Muslims were highly offended. In Seattle, Jews were seriously injured and a woman was killed.
The FBI views both of these as hate crimes. One is a non-Muslim hate crime, and the other is a Muslim hate crime. Do we really need to be worried about guarding Mosques? Give me a break.