CAIR-SFBA has received a disturbing report from Antioch, Calif., about an attack on a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf and South Asian attire. The woman was walking in a public area during daylight hours when an assailant reportedly suffering from mental delusions punched her and stabbed her multiple times.
Fortunately, the police have apprehended the suspect and are currently investigating the incident. CAIR-SFBA’s civil rights coordinator is in touch with the woman’s family and local community leaders who report that she is in stable condition.
While it is still unclear whether this incident was motivated by hate, CAIR-SFBA would like to take this opportunity to remind the community of our safety recommendations, so that all Muslim individuals and communities can protect themselves both at worship and in the course of carrying out daily activities.
Keep in mind:
- If you experience an incident of street harassment that makes you feel unsafe, get to safety, contact police to make a report and call CAIR. The more incidents like these we know about, the better we can advocate for the community with law enforcement.
- If your home, car or other property is vandalized, contact police immediately and contact CAIR so we can document the incident.
- Get to know your neighbors so you can reach out to them in the event of an emergency.
For mosques and community centers
- If you are a mosque leader, build good relationships with your neighbors. Invite them to visit your center.
- If your mosque receives a threat or vandalism, request additional police patrols in the vicinity of your mosque, especially during times of darkness and during prayers. Contact the community relations officer of your local police force, and ask him to tour your center and to make safety suggestions.
- If you receive a suspicious package, do not touch it, report it to the police.
- Install proper flood-lighting around the perimeter of the mosque.
- Make sure your mosque has secure solid doors.
- Trim shrubs and vines, and lower fences to reduce areas of concealment.
- Participate in neighborhood watch programs.
- Document descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles.
- Consider installing security cameras.
These and other safety recommendations are contained in CAIR’s recently-published “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” Community leaders may request a free copy of the publication by visiting: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
Rachel Roberts, Esq.
Civil Rights Coordinator
San Francisco Bay Area Office
3000 Scott Blvd., # 101
Santa Clara, CA 95054
TEL: (408) 986-9874
FAX: (408) 986-9875
Sacramento Valley Office
717 K St., #217
Sacramento, CA 95814
TEL: (916) 441-6269
FAX: (916) 441-6270