Tahnee Gonzales and Elizabeth Dauenhauern of Arizona were arrested on suspicion of felony third-degree burglery after they posted a Facebook Live video of themselves and three children trespassing and vandalizing a mosque in Tempe.
A hate crime may be added to the charges as well.
In the videos originally posted to Facebook, the women can be seen driving and talking about their plan to “expose the mosque” while the children sit in the back seat. When inside the mosque, the women can be seen ripping flyers from bulletin boards and stealing other materials — all the while praising and encouraging their children to participate. At numerous times in the video, the children chime in with bigoted comments targeting Muslims.
“Be careful, because Muslims are waiting to rape you,” one of the children says. At one point, the children climbed onto a funeral van parked at the Islamic Community Center, only to be warned by the women that it once contained “dead Muslims” and “sex goats.”
Although one of the videos was taken down, another two videos documenting the incident still remain up on Gonzales’ personal Facebook page, according to HuffPost. Dauenhauer has since deleted her Facebook page. The videos went viral after another page shared it, racking up thousands of shares.
“We’re pleased with the decision to arrest these two individuals,” Imraan Siddiqi, the executive director of the Arizona chapter of CAIR, told HuffPost. “As we saw on the video, the actions that they took and the hateful epithets that they were spewing were egregious and harmful not only to Muslims but to any house of worship. These types of things have to be taken seriously by law enforcement, so we do thank the Tempe Police Department as well the Islamic Community Center of Tempe for taking swift and quick actions against this and not taking this light and really prosecuting it quickly.”
The women’s actions aren’t the first time the mosque has been on the receiving end of harassment. Speaking to AZ Central, mosque imam Ahmad Al-Akoum said protesters show up nearly every Friday to “stand on the sidewalk and yell at members, tearing up a copy of the Koran to antagonize them.”
Gonzales reportedly has posted other videos showing her verbally harassing Muslims. According to AZ Central, a video from Sunday taken outside of a Phoenix rally for Bernie Sanders shows Gonzales confronting U.S. Senate candidate Deedra Abboud and screaming, “Deedra Abboud supports Muslims who hate America!”
Watch a version of the video uploaded to Facebook:
Donald Trump supporter moms teach their kids to hate. These hateful mothers go to a Mosque in Tempe, Arizona to harass and mock Muslims. Please make this video go viral! AND CALL the local police and report them for "domestic" TERRORISM! Also see this video:https://www.facebook.com/nauiocelot/videos/1372422172863898/
Posted by Naui Ocelotl's – nauiocelotl YouTube videos. on Monday, 12 March 2018
Featured image via screen grab