Muslims Clash Over Stores Selling Liquor in Oakland

January 9, 2006

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP

On January 9, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Dressed in bow ties and dark suits, nearly a dozen men carrying metal pipes entered a corner store, shattered refrigerator cases and smashed bottles of liquor, wine and beer, terrifying the clerk but stealing nothing. The just wanted to leave a message: Stop selling alcohol to fellow Muslims. In urban America, friction between poor residents and immigrant store owners is nothing new... But the recent attack at San Pablo Liquor — and an identical vandalism spree at another West Oakland store later that evening, along with an arson fire there and the kidnapping of the owner a few days later — have injected religion into the debate. The two episodes highlighted tensions — and different interpretations of the Qur'an — between black Muslims in this struggling, crime-ridden city of 400,000 and Middle Eastern shop owners, many of them also Muslims. Six men connected to a bakery founded by a prominent black Muslim family have been arrested in the Nov. 23 attacks, which were caught on store security cameras. In both instances, the vandals asked store clerks why they were selling alcohol when it was against the Muslim faith."