Two allegedly anti-Muslim stabbings occurred in the past three days on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The first occurred near a mosque in Simi Valley, Calif., on Saturday night and the second in a London train station on Monday afternoon. Fortunately, neither of the incidents resulted in a fatality.
Simi Valley police reported that a Muslim man was stabbed by suspect John Matteson on Saturday around 11:15 p.m. in a shopping center “adjacent” to a mosque, Los Angeles Times reported.
The suspect is being held in custody on $25,000 bail, and the incident is being considered a hate crime by local police. The victim, who has not been publicly identified by police, is in stable condition after being treated for wounds at a nearby hospital.
“During their investigation, [officers] discovered a suspect had confronted a worshipper from the mosque, and after a verbal altercation, they began to fight,” Sgt. Adam Darough said. “During the fight, [the suspect] stabbed the victim.”
In London, witnesses were disturbed by the sight of a knife-wielding man screaming about killing Muslims on Monday around 1:18 p.m. The suspect stabbed a passenger at Forest Hill station in south east London, The Independent reported.
A 38-year-old man who was believed to be the suspect was taken into custody by police. The man was heard shouting, “I want to kill a Muslim. Who is a Muslim?” by witnesses.
Before stabbing a man in his 40s, the suspect also threatened a Muslim woman at the station who was wearing a hijab.
Those in the Forest Hill area stay alert. I've just seen a man brandishing a knife claiming he will "kill all Muslims". Police alerted— Richard Etienne (@retienne) December 12, 2016
#foresthill The attacker shouted " Who is Muslim, I want to kill a Muslim approached the guy sitting with his wife on the 1st carriage— Met-Kastrati (@KastratiMet) December 12, 2016
A British Transport Police spokesperson said, “We are still investigating the circumstances of this incident, but at this time, we are not treating it as terrorism-related.”
Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said the organization has received nearly 200 reports of hate crimes against Muslims since Donald Trump’s election. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported a 67 percent rise in anti-Muslim crimes as of 2015.
“It’s hard to believe that in this day and age we still have to deal with such hate and violence in our country, and especially in a place as diverse as Southern California,” Ayloush said.
The same could easily be said about London. According to official data, in some parts of London, nearly half the population is Muslim, The Telegraph reported.
Muslim populations in the United States and the United Kingdom have been the subject of fierce Islamophobic sentiments, which were the apparent motivations for these heinous crimes.
Banner photo credit: Screenshot