We were shocked — and honestly very saddened — to learn of the string of Molotov cocktail attacks happening right in our own backyard.
Instead of beginning a new year with peace, it seems Queens ushered in 2012 with hate, especially since one of the targets of the attacks was the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica.
The other attacks occurred at a bodega and two private homes in the Jamaica area. And a fifth incident on Long Island is being investigated to see if it is related.
Though thankfully there were no reports of injuries — and the 80 or so people worshipping in the Center on New Year’s Day were able to evacuate, with just damage done to the building’s facade by the homemade explosives — the incidents, reportedly being investigated by the NYPD as hate crimes, frayed the nerves of many.
“We live in the U.S. This is our country,” said a man who attends the Center in published reports.
Not only is it 2012, but we live in the United States, a bastion of freedom and rights. And Queens is home to over 2 million people, 47.1 percent of whom are foreign born, 54.4 percent of whom speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2010 census.
So in this day and age, why did this happen?
Why are there still people who hate?
We applaud the NYPD for their increased vigilance, their handling of the situation and their sensitivity, each and every day, to the cultures of Queens.
And we urge whoever is responsible for these heinous crimes — or anyone with information — to come forward.
Please, the people of Queens deserve to live in peace, to live the American Dream.