(DENVER, CO, 7/22/19) – The Colorado chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Colorado), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a hate crime investigation of vandalism targeting a Denver church.
On Saturday, vandals smashed the glass on the Highlands United Methodist Church sign, which read, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 23:35." The sign also contained a rainbow heart.
SEE: Denver church sign welcoming all targeted by suspected vandals
A Denver church wrote a message about immigration; the sign was shattered
“Whenever a house of worship is targeted in this manner, a possible bias motive must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” said CAIR-Colorado Acting Board Chair Krista Cole. “We urge law enforcement authorities to treat this act of vandalism as a possible hate crime.”
She added: "Pastor Brad is well-known in the Denver faith community, having reached out personally to the Muslim Community to extend the hand of friendship, and we are deeply disturbed that his church and its parishioners were targeted."
CAIR and the American Muslim community have, in the past, expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings.
On Sunday, the New York chapter of CAIR condemned the brutal attack on a Hindu priest near a Queens temple this past Thursday.
SEE: CAIR-NY Condemns Brutal Attack on Hindu Priest Near Queens Temple; Calls for Swift Hate Crime Probe
The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-Colorado Acting Board Chair Krista Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-501-0961; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com