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PoliticsWorldTruck with anti-terrorism message roams in New Jersey; Islamists find it 'anti-Muslim'

Truck with anti-terrorism message roams in New Jersey; Islamists find it ‘anti-Muslim’

What’s no longer surprising in the woke country, politicians issued statements of condemnation and called for an investigation into the movement of the truck

In a development showcasing the excitability of proponents of the bogus theory of Islamophobia, when a truck moved around in some streets of New Jersey in the US, carrying messages against terrorist attacks as in India on 26 November 2008 (26/11), Islamic commentators found the act to be “anti-Muslim”. The mobile billboard truck parked outside at least three Islamic centres last weekend, making many Muslims see it as a deliberate provocation and attempt to “intimidate and demonise the community”, as reported by the Islamist website Middle East Eye.

The Council for American Islamic Relations, New Jersey, observed that a mobile billboard truck entered the parking lot of the Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway and the New Brunswick Islamic Center on 26 November, broadcasting video and photos from the horrific Mumbai attacks in India that killed at least 175 people in late November 2008.

The truck is said to have stopped also outside the Community of New Jersey Masjid in Ford where it parked outside the entrance of the mosque and flashed scenes of explosions, names and faces of suspects responsible for the attacks and other messages of hate for 45 min, onlookers say.

One of the signs on the rotating billboard read: “Mumbai 26/11: We won’t forgive. We won’t forget.” Another read: “Men, women and or elderly, no one was spared by LeT terrorists who entered India via sea on a boat.”

Where does the message mention “Islam” or “Muslims”? The hypersensitive Islamists fail to point out. Cair-NJ’s communication manager Dina Sayedahmed said taking this truck around was a “deliberate and well-coordinated” act “with intent”. “The perpetrator of this designed several anti- posters, rented a truck with an electronic billboard to display them, and then drove to at least two Islamic centres, displaying these vile and anti-Muslim messages both at the Islamic centre as well as on the road,” she said.

American politics’ truck with Islamists

Unsurprisingly, several American politicians, including a US senator and two assemblywomen, issued statements of condemnation and called for an investigation into the movement of the truck loaded with anti-terrorism messages. On 29 November, US Senator Bob Menendez said he was “disgusted by this act of bigotry”.

“Let me be clear: New Jersey stands with our community and will always defend your to worship freely and without fear of harassment and intimidation,” Menendez said in a tweet.

Assemblywomen Shama Haider and Sadaf Jaffer called the incident “a stunt” and said, “this sort of hate had no place in New Jersey”.

After the truck in New Jersey on Saturday, somebody is said to have “intimidated” the Sikh community in Connecticut. On 28 November, a mobile billboard truck went to Norwich, Connecticut, with images on it accusing Pakistan of fuelling a Sikh rebellion in Indian Punjab, the aforementioned Islamist site complains — without explaining or perhaps knowing that Khalistani elements among Sikhs may be more vocal and visible but not the majority in the community yet.

A Fox61 report says one of the rotating images in the “anti-Sikh” truck showed a man in a turban carrying a semi-automatic gun with an oversized ammunition belt and added that the Department of Justice, as well as the FBI, have opened an investigation into the matter. “I think these kinds of things could lead to serious violence,” Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Norwich, was quoted as saying.

This second truck reportedly surfaced three months after a bulldozer, bearing images of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath rolled through the streets of Edison and Woodridge during the India Day parade in August.

A bulldozer has come to be seen in India politically as a metaphor for the Indian state’s clampdown on riotous Muslims

As in the case of the first truck above, the bulldozer stopped outside -owned businesses and left the Muslim community in the vicinity feeling intimidated and concerned for their safety.

A bulldozer has come to be seen in India politically as a metaphor for the Indian state’s clampdown on riotous Muslims. Yogi’s trademark act, picked subsequently by the BJP governments of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, has earned him the moniker of Bulldozer Baba (“Daddy Bulldozer”).

“It appears the imagery on the truck was trying to link Muslims with the attacks in Mumbai and we had nothing to do with it,” an activist with the Indian American Council (IAMC), Minhaj Khan, said.

“Instead of trying to build bridges on Independence Day, they brought a bulldozer and they tried to intimidate us, and now they brought this truck during a national day of mourning at a place of worship… It was appalling.”

In Edison, organisers were forced to apologise for the bulldozer following an outcry and national coverage but those closely following the events in the state say that Hindutva, or Hindu nationalism, is deeply embedded in states such as New Jersey, Texas and California.

Earlier this week, Cair-NJ and members of the Center of Middlesex County held a joint press conference in Piscataway to demand a response to the incident.

“While everyone — even bigots — has the to free speech, no one has the right to target religious minorities, especially at their houses of worship, with acts of perceived intimidation and harassment,” Cair-NJ executive director Selaedin Maksut said in a statement.

The Piscataway police department told MEE the matter was now with the Attorney General’s office.

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