Alex Blaze

Gay Graffiti at Islamic Center in Missouri

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 13, 2011 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: graffiti, islamic community center, LGBT, Missouri, Muslims, penis, springfield

A lot of hay has been made about how Jared Lee Loughner would have been already shipped off to Guantanamo islamic-center_sign.jpgif he were Muslim and the right wouldn't be arguing as forcefully as possible that he was "insane" and therefore acted in complete isolation (all one billion Muslims are at fault when someone includes Islam in their ravings before an act of violence and it's political correctness to deny it; no one else is responsible when someone includes rightwing dogma in their ravings before an act of violence and it's political profiteering to point it out).

But we don't even have to look at the big events to see that sort of discrepency. I can only find one mainstream publication covering this story, but imagine if it were a Christian church that found seemingly pro-gay graffiti on it (replace "Pakistan" with, say, "Serbia"). Something tells me it'd be plastered on the front page of every major paper:

Pollpeter said he contacted the Springfield police, as well as the FBI. He believes the messages constitute a hate crime.

He described graffiti left on the building at 2151 East Division St. as including: a phallic symbol near the door where women enter; phrases saying "gay insurrection," "gay is ok" and a reference to Allah being gay; profane four-letter words; and the words "You bash us in Pakistan we bash you here;" a pentangle; and a Star of David.

Who knows if this person was queer or straight. There's no way to tell unless they catch the person, but I wouldn't put it past someone who's queer to be incredibly misguided in their quest to end homophobia they're on the receiving end of, nor would I put it past a Christian conservative acting on that article of faith that says that Christian homophobia is good for gays while Islamic homophobia is bad for gays.

And it really shouldn't be all that important, since what the person was concerned with is making Muslim people in Missouri feel unwelcome and scared. And, of course, that will never be labeled an act of terror.

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Wow! I live in Springfield and I didn't know about this incident. I did a quick search of this story on the local TV news stations, there are three such stations for local news, and only one of the stations had two news stories about the incident. The station is KOLR 10 and the second story was about the vandals breaking off the outside faucet after turning it on. It's awful but not surprising; like almost every other community, Springfield has a long history of attacks against minorities.

I'm surprised the vandal(s) used "Pakistan". All of the graffiti seems to be very disconnected as well. Though I suppose I should be glad they don't have a more unified message or a better way of disseminating it.

Me too. I would have expected Iran, Palestine, Syria, or Iraq from the sort of people who usually write about this issue.

theflyingarab | January 14, 2011 7:01 PM

Typical "us vs. them" kind of thing, isn't it? I'm gay and I grew up Muslim. These kinds of stories always hit me hard emotionally. This one in particular makes me think of a religion teacher I had growing up at my local mosque who challenged us to think critically about our faith -- not just buy it word for word. He brought us to Islamic art exhibits, invited poets and historians to speak in class... amazing, incredibly intellectual human being. Incidentally he was from Pakistan. And I think if I went back and told him I was gay he wouldn't give a flying fuck.