Armed man arrested for yelling Islamophobic remarks in Kansas mosque

27th Nov 2020

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Kansas man was arrested on October 30 for yelling Islamophobic comments in a local mosque while armed with a gun.

Wichita police arrested 26-year-old Dustin Arterburn on suspicion of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct after he reportedly went to Masjid An Noor while armed with a gun and yelled anti-Muslim comments at a 53-year-old Muslim man.

Arterburn is also suspected of putting up “concerning posters around the Islamic Society of Wichita,” a news release from Officer Charley Davidson said. Arterburn was being held at Sedgwick County Jail.

The assault was reported around 5:45 pm when police responded to a disturbance with a weapon call at the mosque. A police report states that Arteburn was “making racial comments and discriminating against (the victim’s) religion.”

“Through the investigation, officers learned that the same male had previously posted concerning posters around the Islamic Society of Wichita located in the 6600 block of East 34th Street North,” Officer Charley Davidson said. “The incident was reported around the same time.”

Mahbub Khan, President of Masjid An Noor, said Arterburn was carrying anti-Muslim Charlie Hebdo posters and that he was told by police that the man had been distributing them at the Islamic Society of Wichita near WoodlawnKhan said Arterburn showed up at the mosque and confronted him while “displaying the distorted cartoon of our beloved Prophet, slamming the Holy Quran, cursing with profanity, displaying anger, hostile threats against the peaceful religion of Islam.”

Police identified Arterburn as the suspect in both the aggravated assault case and the distribution of posters and arrested him at a home in Derby. Arterburn is from Wichita. “Arterburn acted alone in these incidents and is not part of any network,” Davidson

said.
Khan characterized the assault as “domestic terrorism” and said he hopes it is prosecuted as a hate crime. He is calling for peace during and after the 2020 election, where emotions are high.

“We want to unite the community against this kind of bigotry and hatred,” Khan said. We don’t want this to happen to any of the churches or any of the religious organizations,” he added.

“Our beliefs are the core backbone of society. You go to a house of worship to worship, not thinking somebody’s going to come with a gun and start shooting. That is un-American.”

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