Kanamu Kobayashi/Staff reporter

On February 22, 2006, a bombing targeted the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, Iraq, causing the golden dome to be severely damaged but with no casualties. It was reported that several men entered the shrine, then tied up the guards and set the explosives. Two bombs were set off by five men dressed as personnel of Iraq special forces.  

This is Al-Askari shrine after the bombing

Though the dome was repaired by April 2009, there were many conflicts followed, one of them included the retaliatory violence. Which then caused hundreds of dead bodies being found the next day, and up to 1,000 deaths followed. Which then escalated into a civil war, then caused thousands of people to lose their lives. 

Al-Askari before the bombing occured

A year later, there was another bombing which destroyed the already damaged shrine. In the first bombing (February 22, 2006) the golden dome was destroyed, but in the second bombing, (June 13, 2007) two of the ten-story minarets were destroyed. The government spokesman claimed that the minarets were hit by rockets, however local residents stated that “the collapse of the two minarets appeared to have been caused by explosive charges placed at their bases”  

It also has been noted that the attack could also have pulled a string of bombings in 2007, including two car bomb attacks in Karbala which were both near a shrine, and also caused many casualties (one near the Imam Husayn Shrine killed 36 people and wounded 168, another one near the Imam Abbas shrine killed at least 58 people and wounded 169.)  

this is the aftermath of a car bombing site

This event also could have potentially been one of the causes of the increasing number of people, especially in US, to have Islamophobia. Islamophobia is the fear, hatred or prejudice against the religion of Islam or Muslims in general. The word ‘Islamophobia’ started appearing  

Around 1997 in academic discourse in a report by Runnymede Trust. In September 11, 2001, a poll was taken, and it was reported that 60% of Americans have unfavorable attitudes towards Muslims. In 2015, unfavorable attitudes towards Muslims increased as high as 67% and hate speeches and crimes were common.  

Anti-Muslim protest in Ohio


Al-Askari shrine: Al-Askari shrine after bombing  Al-Askari shrine before bombing

Islamophobia: Islamophobia  

Civil war: Civil war 


2007 Al-Askari bombing 

Iraqi Civil War 

Islamophobia in America 

2006 Al-Askari bombing 

 Al-Askari shrine 

Two Car bombing 

Islamophobia and America’s public health