Police in Southern California arrested a man on hate crime and arson charges Saturday after they concluded that he was possibly behind a fire at a local mosque. It could be the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks that have taken place in America in the past week.
The fire at the Islamic Society of Palm Springs broke out at around noon on Friday. By that evening, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and Coachella Police Department had determined that the fire was caused by "an intentional act potentially resulting in a hate crime," and a suspect had been taken in.
There have been numerous anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in the last few days. In Queens, a shop owner was assaulted by a customer who shouted, "I kill Muslims." In North Dakota, a man was arrested after allegedly setting a fire at a Somali restaurant. Seattle police were investigating two separate incidents. In one, a Somali-American boy fell to his death from a balcony. In another, a man allegedly attacked a ride-sharing driver after saying he was working with terrorists. In Florida, one Muslim woman was shot at and another almost driven off of a road. In Washington, DC, the offices of Muslim civil rights group CAIR were evacuated after the group received an envelope containing hateful messages and an unknown substance. (The substance turned out to be harmless.)
Each of the above incidents took place in the last seven days.