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The QueQue

The QueQue: Anti-Muslim hate on the rise in SA, Border Wall reanimating in Rio Grande floodplain

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

DON'T SPRAY IT. Writing on the wall outside Tahir Khan's home.


Anti-Muslim hate on the rise in SA

"We are Americans," said a frustrated Tahir Khan last week from his North Side porch. A Pakistani immigrant who moved to the country over three decades ago, he became a U.S. citizen in 1982. "We were planning to celebrate the Fourth of July just like everybody else," he said. With the kids back in town from college, the Khan's had planned a July 4th barbecue. Instead, the family spent last Wednesday scrubbing the word "terrorist" off their home, scrawled in big black spray-painted letters onto the brick side of their home.

According to Sarwat Husain, head of San Antonio's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Khan's family wasn't the only one targeted last week. On July 4, four other muslim families reported incidents to CAIR, she said — most were vandalism of the "terrorist" spray-paint variety, she said. Since the start of 2012, CAIR has logged 13 complaints of anti-Muslim hate in San Antonio, she said. In the most serious incident, a nine-year-old child was taunted, called a terrorist, and beaten to the point of broken bones, Husain said. All those families, save for the Khans, declined to come forward with their own stories, Husain said, fearing further retaliation.

Last year CAIR-San Antonio reported 21 cases of anti-Muslim hate. "This is not something that should be taken lightly," Husain said, standing outside Khan's home last week. "As Americans, we demand equal treatment and protection, just like all other Americans. … It's been 10 years" since the attacks of 9/11 sparked anti-Muslim fear and hate, she said. "How much longer do we have to put up with it?"

Troubled, the Khans called off most of their July Fourth plans. But by Wednesday night, most of the family ventured downtown to watch the city's fireworks display at HemisFair Park. Khan's wife stayed home to watch the house. Soon after the family left, she heard pounding at the door, then the loud snaps of firecrackers being launched at her porch. "We think it was the same people," she said.

With the police's apparent inability to respond prophylactically, can we ask if any incensed SHARPs are on patrol?

Border Wall reanimating in Rio Grande floodplain

As anyone who's watched national politics these last few years could attest: They're not done with the border wall. Launched with the 2006 Secure Fence Act, Homeland Security was originally tasked with raising 700 miles of 14-foot-high, double fencing across the nation's southern land boundary. While construction rushed ahead from San Diego to El Paso, in Texas things got gummed up by lawsuits over eminent domain land grabs. U.S. citizens got pushed behind the wall as contractors sought to stay clear of the Rio Grande floodplain.

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