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(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/17/14) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging mosques and Muslim institutions nationwide to consider applying for funds available through the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).
The program is designed to assist nonprofit organizations that are vulnerable to terrorist attacks with procuring and installing security equipment to enhance safety.
The NSGP application process opened March 18, 2014, and may be found on the FEMA website. The deadline for submitting the application is May 23, 2014 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Background on mosque safety issues:
In March, CAIR-Chicago called for an FBI hate crime investigation after a bullet was reportedly fired at the dome of the Prayer Center of Orland Park (OPPC) in Orland Park, Ill. CAIR recently called for a similar FBI probe into a shooting targeting a Mississippi mosque.
In February, CAIR-WA held a news conference to ask the FBI to investigate apparently bias-motivated incidents targeting a mosque in Bothell, Wash.
CAIR's Sacramento Valley chapter recently called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism of a California mosque as a possible hate crime.
In December, CAIR urged a hate crime probe of graffiti sprayed on the Islamic Society of Appalachian Region near Princeton, W.Va. The graffiti spray-painted on the mosque and its sign made obscene references to "Allah," the Arabic word for God.
Last year, CAIR welcomed an arrest in the case of a Joplin, Mo., mosque targeted by arson in 2012.
In response to previous attacks on American mosques, CAIR published a booklet called "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.
To request a free e-copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," go to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html