Mom takes kids to vandalize mosque in Tempe

She recorded it live on Facebook.

    Tahnee Gonzales and Elizabeth Dauenhauer [Courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center]
    Tahnee Gonzales and Elizabeth Dauenhauer [Courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center]

    Two women known for anti-Muslim rants at Phoenix-area political events were arrested Thursday for breaking into an Arizona Islamic centre, police said.

    Tahnee Gonzales, 32, and Elizabeth Dauenhauer, 51, were arrested on suspicion of felony third-degree burglary after an investigation into theft and vandalism at a Tempe mosque.

    The two were released on Friday, but were ordered to wear electronic monitoring devices in lieu of bail. 

    Arrests came after the mosque officials pressed charges against the women who also filmed themselves and their children spouting hate speech while removing flyers and pamphlets from the mosque.

    Facebook Live

    In the 20-minute long Facebook Live video, the women, along with three children, walked around the property. They approached the gate where there is a "no trespassing" sign and a sign prohibiting firearms.

    One of the women is heard asking one of the children to take her gun back to their car. They then walk past the entrance and immediately begin removing posters, brochures and other materials while making insulting statements about Islam and Muslims.

    Imraan Siddiqi, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group Arizona chapter told Anadolu Agency on Friday that the women are affiliated with the Arizona Patriot Movement (PMAZ) which was established by members of the far right and white supremacists.

    Arizona Patriot Movement 

    Siddiqi said that the Muslim community in Arizona has been persistently harassed by the PMAZ, also open carry laws, lack of regulations and people who glorify gun usage are serious threats to Muslims.

    Siddiqi recalled the Phoenix mosque incident in 2015 when members of the Arizona Patriot Movement encircled the building with weapons while nearly 600 Muslim community members were inside for an annual event.

    They screamed racial slurs to women and little children, Siddiqi said, adding that especially Muslim women are often targeted not only in Arizona but also around the country.

    "As a Muslim women, not only in Arizona but most of the [country], they will tell you that they have probably been harassed, followed, or tried to get run off the road," he noted. "That is the new normal for a lot of Muslim Americans now."

    The Southern Poverty Law Center said earlier this year that it found "a dramatic jump in hate violence and incidents of harassment and intimidation around the country" since the President Donald Trump's November 8, 2016, electoral win.

    Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Old fears, new threats?

    Head to Head

    Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Old fears, new threats?

    SOURCE: Anadolu news agency


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