(HOUSTON, TEXAS, 6/22/17) -- The Texas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Texas) today welcomed a hate crime charge brought against a man suspected of setting fire to the Islamic Center of Victoria in Victoria, Texas, in January.
Federal officials today charged Marq Perez with a hate crime for damaging religious property, one count of using fire to commit a federal felony and another count for possession of an unregistered destructive device. He could face up to 40 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines.
At the time of his arrest earlier this year, Perez was described as a “right-wing extremist.” A prosecutor noted that Perez, who claimed that members of the mosque are “terrorists,” may have targeted multiple mosques based on his social media comment: "Can you pinpoint any mosques that a team can get clear to?"
“We welcome the hate crime charge brought against the alleged arsonist and hope it sends a strong message to anyone contemplating attacking a house of worship,” said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll. “We thank state and federal law enforcement authorities for their diligence in investigating and prosecuting this case.”
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/22/17) - On Sunday, June 25,* the Muslim community in America will celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers around the country.
[NOTE: Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. * Because dates may vary, consult local mosques or Muslim community leaders for exact dates and times of Eid ul-Fitr activities.]
The prayers mark the beginning of the Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or “feast of fast breaking” holiday, in which Muslims exchange social visits and seek to strengthen family and community bonds. During this holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid mubarak” (EED-moo-BAR-ak), meaning “blessed Eid,” and “taqabbalallah ta’atakum,” or “may God accept your deeds.” Many communities also hold multicultural bazaars and other family activities following the prayers.
Eid ul-Fitr is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes near the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/21/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said it is representing the family of a Virginia Muslim teen who was murdered Sunday.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston, Va., was abducted after leaving the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in northern Virginia allegedly by a man who was later arrested on suspicion of murder. CAIR has called for a thorough investigation of a possible bias motive in the case.
“CAIR represents the interests of the family of Nabra Hassanen and will monitor the development of the investigation to ensure a thorough examination of any possible bias aspects of the case,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Questions for the family should now be directed to CAIR’s attorneys and spokespeople.”
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/20/17) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said that Florida-based SCCY Firearms is “stonewalling” a request for an explanation of a promotional button issued by that company claiming its handguns are “Real Muslim Stoppers.”
CAIR said it has not received a reply to its request sent to company officials last week for an explanation of the button’s message that apparently promotes violence against American Muslims. The button was mailed to CAIR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters by a concerned citizen.
CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.