Today in Stochastic Violence and Terrorism: Bloomington, Minnesota Mosque Firebombed

From The Minneapolis Star Tribune:

A blast caused by what the FBI called “an improvised explosive device” rocked a Bloomington Islamic center before dawn Saturday, just as a small group of Muslim worshipers had gathered for the day’s first round of prayers.

No one was hurt in the explosion, which heavily damaged an imam’s office at the Dar Al Farooq Center and sent smoke wafting through the large building. Windows in the office were shattered, either by the blast or by an object thrown through them.

The blast was reported at 5:05 a.m. as about a dozen people gathered in a room nearby for morning prayers and jolted awake many residents of the neighborhood. Congregants and neighbors expressed relief that there were no injuries, but also reacted with shock and dismay.

When police arrived, they found smoke and fire damage to the building, said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts. Agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives soon joined the investigation. A large area outside the center was taped off as investigators, including members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, combed through the grass.

At an early evening news conference, Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said an “improvised explosive device” caused the blast, but that investigators still must determine “who and why.”

WCCO CBS Minnesota:

Leaders at the center and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota say a worshiper saw someone throw an explosive device into the building and then speed off in a pick-up truck.

“The Muslim American Society of Minnesota condemns this arson and attack,” Asad Zaman said.

Meanwhile, federal authorities and Bloomington police investigate what led up to the explosion.

Within hours of the explosion, an outpouring of support from neighbors and community members of all religious backgrounds.

And since we have stochastic in the title, we might as well go for broke. Take it away WCCO CBS Minnesota!

 A bomb squad was called to the Cathedral of St. Paul Saturday afternoon after someone starting lighting papers on fire inside the building.

St. Paul police say a homeless man walked into the cathedral and started setting the fires, which were extinguished by bystanders.

The man was said to be carrying a brown paper bag containing a Bible and a Quran tied together, which at first was thought to possibly be an explosive device – but no such device was found.

The man was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Stay frosty!

Today, Last Friday, and Every Day in Domestic Terrorism and Stochastic Violence

The weekly bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers and the Anti-Defamation League is now back to Tuesdays.

The Anti-Defamation League says it received bomb threats at four of its offices Tuesday, the same day more Jewish Community Centers across the country were also targeted in a new round of threats.

The JCC Association of North America also released a statement, saying “several JCCs have received either emailed or phoned-in bomb threats overnight and this morning.”

This lovely fellow was arrested over the weekend for vandalizing a synagogue.* He’d also, apparently, upset quite a few people at a church with a primarily Hispanic congregation earlier in the year.

Another Sikh-American was targeted and shot last Friday because he was mistaken for being Muslim.

Kent police are searching for a gunman they say opened fire in the East Hill neighborhood.

Officers say the victim, a 39-year-old Sikh man, was in his driveway working on his car Friday around 8 p.m. when another man approached him and began yelling, “Go back to your own country.”

Police say the victim was shot in the arm. Authorities expect the man will make a full recovery.

The shooting suspect is a white male about 6 feet tall. Police say the man has a stocky build and was seen in dark clothing and a mask covering the lower half of his face.

Detectives are investigating. The FBI is also involved in investigation the possible hate crime.

Also last Friday another Indian-American, Harnish Patel, was shot dead in Lancaster, SC.

Patel was the owner of a Speedee Mart and was targeted on his way home. It is unclear from the reporting at this time if this was a robbery-homicide or if Mr. Patel was targeted because of his ethnicity.

Patel was the owner of the Speedee Mart on Pageland Highway.

Police said that he closed his store and left in his Toyota minivan at 11:24 p.m. Thursday.

Investigators believe he drove from the store directly home, where he was confronted by his killer when he got out of the vehicle.

Authorities have not made any arrests but are urging people to come forward.

“We ask anyone with information he or she thinks might be related to this incident in any way to please contact us,” said Sheriff Barry Faile.  “If you saw anything at the store, in the area of Craig Manor Road, or anywhere in between, let us know.  Even if you think it is not important, it could be the lead that solves this case.”

Anyone with information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 283-3388 or email Crimestoppers.

Mr. Patel is survived by a wife and young child.

And it is important to remember, despite the fact that the anti-Semitic incidents, and, of course, those involving physical attacks, injuries, murders, and significant property damage, get a lot of press and coverage, we definitely need to keep in mind that every day in the US is today in anti-Muslim domestic terrorism and stochastic violence.

Most Americans don’t actually know any Muslims — at least, not personally.

More than 6 in 10 have seldom or never had a conversation with a Muslim, according to a study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute. Most Americans also say they know little (57%) or nothing at all (26%) about Islam.
Those numbers have barely budged in 30 years, even after 9/11, two American-led wars in Muslim-majority countries, local and national outreach campaigns by Muslim mosques and organizations, dozens of terrorist attacks worldwide, high-profile congressional hearings and copious media coverage of Islam. All of which suggests that Americans are not just widely ignorant about Islam and Muslims, they are also oddly incurious.
Muslims have been shot and killed, execution-style, in their living rooms and outside of their mosques. They have been fatally stabbed on their way home. They have been beaten in their stores, in their schools and on the streets. They have been kicked off airplanes, egged outside Walmart, scorched with hot coffee in a park, shot in cabs and punched while pushing their children in strollers. Their clothes have been set on fire and their children have been bullied. Men have come to their door and told them that they would burn down their house if they did not move away. They have been fired for wearing hijabs and for praying. They have seen their cemeteries vandalized and their Quran desecrated. A Muslim congressman has received death threats, and business owners have posted signs advertising “Muslim-free zones.
Heavily armed men have protested outside mosques in Texas and Arizona, arguing that it’s their patriotic duty to protect the country from Islam.
People have covered the doors of a mosque with feces and torn pages of the Quran, left a severed pig’s head outside a mosque, firebombed mosques, urinated on mosques, spray-painted the Star of David and satanic symbols on mosques, carved swastikas and crude drawings of penises into signs at mosques, set fire to mosques, threatened to blow up mosques and kill “you Muslim f****,” fired rounds from high-powered rifles into mosques, wrapped bacon around the door handles of mosques, left hoax bombs and fake grenades at mosques, threatened to decapitate congregants at mosques, sent suspicious substances to mosques, written notes saying, “We hate you,”“We will burn all of you” and “Leave our country” to mosques, rammed a tractor-trailer into a mosque, thrown bricks and stones through the windows of mosques, pelted Muslims with rocks as they left mosques and stood outside mosques shouting, “How many of you Muslims are terrorists?”
American Muslims have been told that a mosque, unlike churches and synagogues, cannot serve as an election polling station. Dozens of communities have fought to keep Muslims from building mosques in their neighborhoods, sometimes threatening violence.
From 2001 to 2015, there were 2,545 anti-Islamic incidents targeting 3,052 Muslims, according to the FBI. Last year, anti-Muslim hate times surged 67%, reaching a level of violence not seen since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and many Muslims believe hate crimes are underreported by victims and not pursued vigorously by police and prosecutors. This year, the FBI has begun counting anti-Arab incidents as well.
Much more excellent reporting by Daniel Burke at the link.

Here’s the link to the FBI’s 2015 Hate Crime Statistics information, which also captures the increase in anti-Muslim hate groups and actions. The 2016 has not yet been finalized.

In February I wrote that this is:

…an ongoing, coordinated campaign of terrorism. The point is to make the children attending these schools be afraid to go to school. It is to make their parents afraid to send them. And to make the teachers, administrators, and other staff afraid to go to work. It is intended to coerce all of these people, as well as members of the wider Jewish American community and the communities of other religious and ethnic minorities in the US. It is also intended to coerce and intimidate the neighbors, commercial or residential, of these institutions to demand they relocate in order to minimize the threat to themselves.

It is important to add that the campaigns of violence directed against Muslim-Americans, including the attempts to prevent them from opening new mosques or cemeteries or expanding existing ones is particularly dangerous. It is dangerous because the perpetrators can’t tell the difference between Americans of Arab, Iranian, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indonesian, Sinhalese/Sri Lankan, or Tamil (of Indian or Sri Lankan origin) descent, and other Americans of color and just assume they are all Muslims. This results in attacks on Americans who are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or any other religion they may identify with. The anti-Muslim animus among non Muslim-Americans is particularly dangerous because those who have it are not only ignorant about Islam and Muslims, they’re ignorant about Americans who are of North African, Horn of African, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Southeast Asian descent. The ignorance of the attackers increases the potential target populations. And these actions – both the physically violent and the non-physically violent – contribute to the ever present, ongoing, low level campaign of domestic terrorism and stochastic violence against the members of these communities.

And here too, as is the case with the attacks on the Jewish Community Centers and synagogues and Jewish-American organizations, the intention is to intimidate and coerce the victimized population to either change their behavior or leave. It is also intended to intimidate and coerce the larger American citizenry to take action against the victims. To push them to demonstrate against them because they are perceived as a threat or because by being targets they increase the likelihood of an attack. To rezone areas so mosques, community centers, and cemeteries cannot be built – again because they are a threat or because by existing they increase the threat profile within the community. To make Muslim Americans, and those mistaken for them, feel unwelcome in their homes, businesses, places of work, and places of recreation. To collapse the public into the private – destroying the Grey Zone, the civil space of American life – and then deny the victims and potential victims even the private portions of their lives as refuge. So that they feel unsafe in public and unsafe at home. To deny them any safe havens or respite.**

And while this is a good start, it does not go far enough.

This needs to be broadened to include anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh, anti-Indian American, anti-Arab American, anti-Pakistani American, anti-Hispanic American, anti-African American, anti-LGBTQ American, and any other at risk demographic. And they have to put the power of the public purse where their mouths are. They have to introduce and pass legislation that prohibits DHS from turning its Task Force on Violent Extremism into a Task Force on Countering Islamic Extremism or Radical Islamic Extremism. And to fix its problems and expand its scope, not narrow them in the pursuit of an ideologically incorrect agenda.

As always, we leave the last word to 18 U.S. Code § 2331, highlighting the relevant part:

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
(Added Pub. L. 102–572, title X, § 1003(a)(3), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4521; amended Pub. L. 107–56, title VIII, § 802(a), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 376.)
* I wonder if jackboots are deductible?
** This is also the purpose of the changes in immigration enforcement activity that have been reported over the past several weeks. Including actions taken against US citizens and legal permanent residents simply moving about the US. Though given that it is being directed by the state against the citizenry and non-citizen population, using the power of the state, it is state terror, rather than terrorism.

Today In Domestic Terrorism and Stochastic Violence: Copycat Edition

I just wanted to take a quick moment and follow up on BettyC’s post from earlier. My initial thoughts have now been confirmed. Pete Williams, NBC’s justice correspondent, is reporting:

It is important that they were able to make this arrest and to do so fairly quickly. It is important because 1) it gets a clear copycat who was using the threatening calls for his own purposes – to harass his ex girlfriend – out of the equation and 2) it demonstrates that the threatening calls are being taken seriously and a proper investigation is being done. But it also shows that these investigations aren’t easy. As I wrote back in February, the person making the threats:

…may or may not even be in the US, given VOIP technology.

For instance, back in early 2016 a number of bomb threats were made against churches in Boston.

The rash of emailed bomb threats targeting local schools appears to have originated in Russia.

Many high schools in Massachusetts have received emailed threats throughout this year Schools in three Rhode Island cities got similar threats last week.

Police in Rhode Island said the emails have been traced to St. Petersburg, Russia. The emails were generated by automated robo-calling programs.

So far, Russian authorities are not cooperating with the investigation.

The alleged perpetrators weren’t in the US, they were in Russia ( 🤔 ), and they used an automated robo-calling program. These programs have become a scourge as it makes it easy for someone to just spam email or inundate cell phones with calls. It makes it easy to engage in activities from the annoying to the dangerous. It was reported yesterday that investigators have indicated that spoofing technology was being used and that it is making the investigation more difficult:

The latest bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the U.S. were reportedly carried out using “spoofing,” technology that makes a call appear like it’s coming from a “friendly” or known source, while in fact it is not.

The threats came in the form of prerecorded “robo-calls” in some cases and live calls in others. In both types, the callers used voice disguising technology. Experts believe the calls are coming from a single source, though the phone numbers have were made undetectable. Thus far, no actual bombs or other signs of a physical threat have been found at any of the locations.

By removing Thompson from the equation, the Federal investigators have removed some of the extraneous noise, which will allow them to more accurately identify the signals or signals they’re looking for. Unfortunately today’s arrest will not end these threats and they may actually cause an escalation. The perpetrator or perpetrators of the majority of these calls (not Thompson) may feel that they’ve had their publicity stolen or have had their motives and reasons, and therefore the credibility (in their eyes) of their actions called into question by Thompson piggybacking on their efforts to harass his ex girlfriend. If this is the case I would expect to see an escalation in the frequency of the calls, to include making them on the Jewish sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) and Jewish holidays (Purim is a week from today), not just on a Monday or a Tuesday, and/or an actual physical attack at some point – more vandalism or attacks on Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, and/or other Jewish institutions.

This will likely get worse before it gets better. It is important to remember that these threats, Mr. Thompson’s dangerous shenanigans aside, are:

…an ongoing, coordinated campaign of terrorism. The point is to make the children attending these schools be afraid to go to school. It is to make their parents afraid to send them. And to make the teachers, administrators, and other staff afraid to go to work. It is intended to coerce all of these people, as well as members of the wider Jewish American community and the communities of other religious and ethnic minorities in the US. It is also intended to coerce and intimidate the neighbors, commercial or residential, of these institutions to demand they relocate in order to minimize the threat to themselves.

The good news is that communities are pulling together, specifically the Jewish American and Muslim American communities. In the case of the former, Jewish Americans have both offered the use of their synagogues to Muslim Americans that have had their mosques burned down and/or raised funds to repair them.

The Muslim man who started a crowdfunding page to help repair a mosque in Tampa damaged in an arson attack realized that many of the donors were Jewish after noticing the gifts came in multiples of 18.

Karim’s campaign raised nearly $60,000 in less than a week, surpassing its $40,000 goal.

“I couldn’t understand why people were donating in what seemed like weird amounts to the cause. There are sums of 18, 36, 72.00 dollars etc. then I figured out after clicking on the names Avi, Cohen, Gold-stein, Rubin, Fisher…. Jews donate in multiples of 18 as a form of what is called “Chai”. It wishes the recipient a long life,” Karim wrote Monday in a Facebook post.

“You learn something new every day. The Jewish faith has shown up in force to support our New Tampa Islamic community. I’m floored,” the post continued. It concluded with the hashtag #chaidelieverd.

And Muslim American veterans have offered to protect Jewish cemeteries and synagogues.

Stay frosty!

Today in Domestic Terrorism and Stochastic Violence: Mosque Arson in Florida

The Islamic Society of New Tampa/Masjid Dar es Salaam, which is in Thonotasassa (a suburb/bedroom community of Tampa), was attacked early Friday morning (autoplay vid at the link). It was arson.

The positive news is that a neighboring church, the Cypress Point Community Church, allowed the members of the mosque to hold their Friday prayers there. The Hillsborough County Fire Department has the lead on the investigation, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was also on site and is providing support. I haven’t seen any information on a possible suspect, but this is the second arson at a Florida mosque in six months.

Today in Domestic Terrorism and Stochastic Violence

This week the weekly phone in bomb threat to multiple Jewish Community Centers and synagogues came a day early. Instead of Tuesday, the preferred day for the last several week’s worth of calls, the caller moved it to Monday. Perhaps to capture the festive spirit of Presidents’ Day.

WHITEFISH BAY — Officials with the Village of Whitefish Bay say a bomb threat was called into the Jewish Community Center at 10:08 a.m. on Monday, February 20th.

The Jewish Community Center posted on its Facebook page, Twitter account and its website that the facility was “safely evacuated.”

A limited number of students were at the center because of the holiday. Other guests who were on site using the gym and pool facilities were also evacuated.

Police say the center was cleared by bomb sniffing dogs. The “all clear” was issued around 12:30 p.m. — after the sweep of the building.

This appears to be one of several threats made to Jewish community centers around the country on Monday.

There was also a threat called into the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, AL.

The Levite Jewish Community Center was briefly evacuated Monday morning after receiving a bomb threat. Many parents picked their children up from the child care facility.

Authorities have given the all-clear now, and staff and students are now back in the building.

A Birmingham police officer said there have been several of these threats across the U.S. today.

The JCC has received bomb threats before, including one in mid-January.

The FBI has been investigating threats to Jewish centers in Alabama and several other states.

Both the Whitefish Bay and Birmingham JCCs received similar phoned in threats in January.

Here’s what I think the security issues are going forward:

1) We’ve got some knucklehead who gets his gratification calling these in and seeing the news coverage. He may or may not be a hard core anti-Semite, but he’s basically in it for ego gratification. And based on decades of criminological research into deviance, delinquency, and offending, it is highly likely it is a he. So step up your game ladies! He may or may not even be in the US, given VOIP technology. And he may never intend to do anything but make these calls.

2) Or he intends to eventually escalate. Specifically after he feels that he has made enough of these, or other copycats have, to create a sense of complacency for the folks at the JCCs and synagogues. Basically emergency alert fatigue. At that point he actually plants a bomb at one of these locations because he figures he’s got a reasonable expectation of casualties because the threats have become commonplace and are no longer being taken seriously.

3) Or, even worse, he never originally intended to escalate, but because the threats have become commonplace the coverage drops way off. He doesn’t get his gratification and as a result escalates in order to get his rush. Basic addictive behavior pattern. Also, serial criminal pattern.

4) Or, also even worse, he never intends to escalate beyond calling in the threats, but someone else who does want to do real, physical damage to property and harm to people does. This individual or individuals waits until the coverage begins to drop off because the calls are every week or every other week like clockwork and the local news decides it needs to cover something more important. And then this person that wants to cause real harm and actually hurt people decides its time to strike because complacency has set in and some synagogue or JCC isn’t going to take the threat as seriously.

And I fully expect that this pattern will at some point be fully extended to mosques and Hispanic and Asian churches, as well as Sikh temples. I know that the Hispanic and Asian churches in my area have seen an increase in both vandalism and threats, just as the synagogues and mosques have, because they are viewed as immigrant places (of worship) and therefore acceptable targets despite being churches.

Updated at 6:15 PM EST

Thanks to commenter Timurid, this also happened today:

I cannot emphasize enough just how bad this is. Not the property damage, in and of itself that’s bad, but because ground that has been the site of violence cannot be sanctified/re-sanctified. Provided that this is just cosmetic damage to the headstones – defacing, being knocked over, etc – there should be no problem. But if the graves themselves have been desecrated, then it will require reburials and the spaces will never be able to be reused as Judaism prohibits reusing a grave. This means that if someone has to be reburied in another plot, then the final resting place and marker/memorial will either be aware from the remainder of their relations graves or everyone will have to be relocated. This is not only traumatic for the living, but becomes prohibitively expensive to deal with.

Today in Domestic Terrorism: Exceedingly Pale Edition

Oh look, its a fine example of the “Master Race”!

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A man with connections to a white supremacy group was arrested in Myrtle Beach Wednesday after purchasing a gun from an undercover FBI agent, apparently intending to commit an attack “in the spirit of Dylann Roof.”

Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, from Conway, was arrested at around 5 p.m. Wednesday by the FBI, according to records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

On December 26, 2016, McDowell posted to Facebook a message: “I love love to act what u think,” followed by a link to the Temple Emanu-El Conservative Synagogue in Myrtle Beach, according to court documents. Horry County Police indicated to the FBI that McDowell had established White Supremacy Extremist connections while serving in prison in South Carolina for various criminal offenses. He also had tattoos indicating an affiliation with these groups.

Dylann Roof, also a member of the “Master Race”, was actually referenced in Mr. McDowell’s planning:

According to the federal complaint document, on January 5, 2017, McDowell posted to Facebook an anti-semetic screed referencing Dylann Roof, which included the statement: “they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline and trying to run us off of this Earth you can post pictures of f****** Viking and swords all the s*** you want to post if you ain’t got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did you need to shut the f*** up…”

Well done FBI.

I’ll leave the penultimate remarks to Congressman Schiff (D-CA):

And, as always, we leave the final say to 18 U.S. Code § 2331

(5)the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Today in Stochastic Violence and Terrorism

News started to break yesterday of the horrific kidnapping, brutalization, and torture of a mentally/developmentally disabled Chicago man by four others – one of whom was an acquaintance.

A mentally disabled man attacked and racially taunted on a Facebook Live video was able to leave a West Side apartment after a neighbor complained about the noise and distracted his attackers, authorities said Thursday.

Two of them followed the neighbor downstairs and the 18-year-old victim took the opportunity to leave the building in the 3300 block of West Lexington Street, ending a five-hour ordeal, police said at a news conference.

Officers found the man wandering the streets in the Homan Square neighborhood around 5:15 p.m., police said. “I observed him wearing a tank top, inside-out, backwards, jean shorts and sandals on,” said Officer Michael Donnelly. “He was bloodied, he was battered.

“He was very discombobulated,” he added. “He was injured. He was confused.”

The four perpetrators are facing felony charges, including hate crimes charges:

Four people face felony criminal charges including hate crimes and kidnapping in the brutal beating and torturing of a mentally disabled man that was broadcasted on live on Facebook.

Jordan Hill,18, of Carpentersville; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; Brittany Covington, 18, of Chicago; and Tanishia Covington, 24, of Chicago; face felony criminal charges of aggravated kidnapping, hate crime; aggravated unlawful restraint; aggravated battery deadly weapon; robbery; PSMV and residential burglary.

Chicago police were made aware of the video Tuesday afternoon. The footage shows the suspects kicking, hitting and cutting the hair of the victim while he was gagged. Shouts of “F*** Trump!” and “F*** white people!” can be heard in the background.

At one point, the victim is held at knife point and told to curse President-elect Donald Trump. The group also forces the victim to drink water from a toilet.

The victim was held hostage for at least 24 hours and as long as 48 hours. Police believe the kidnapping took place in an apartment in the 3400 block of West Lexington on the West Side. Chicago police found the victim “in distress” walking along a street, authorities said.

CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi called the footage “reprehensible.”

What has gotten a lot of play, and some of it absolutely falling in line with preconceived notions and prejudices, is that the victim is White and the perpetrators are African American.

I want to make this very, very clear: people, regardless of ethnicity, what we call race in the US, religion, or any other demographic descriptor we can come up, do horrible, terrible things to their fellow humans. And they do it all the time. In this case the victim/perpetrator realities lined up to provide grist for certain people’s mills, but what happened in Chicago is, unfortunately, not restricted to any one particular ethnicity or religious group. It is also unacceptable. And it would be unacceptable if the victim was African American and the perpetrators were white. Or if the victim was LatinX and the perpetrators were Jewish-American. Or if the victim was LGBTQ and the perpetrators were Asian American. Wrong is wrong is wrong regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation, or national origin. There is enough evil in the world without looking to shoehorn it into one’s ideological prejudices to score political points.

It is more important now than ever to remember and take to heart the wisdom of President Washington from his Letter to the Jewish Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island:

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.