(ATLANTA, GA - 7/24/2018) -- The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) today welcomed a federal judge's decision to impose a two-year prison sentence on Preston Q. Howard, a Missouri man who made a dozen threatening calls to the Islamic Center of Augusta (ISA) last summer.
"We welcome the news that this anti-Muslim bigot has been arrested and sentenced before he could escalate his vile hate speech into a violent hate crime," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR Georgia. "Sadly, death threats are nothing new to the American Muslim community. If any other Georgia mosques receive similar threats, they should alert law enforcement, as well as CAIR-Georgia."
Howard, who apologized during the court hearing, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.
"We hope that Mr. Howard will use his time in prison to give up his white supremacist beliefs and learn about different faiths so that he can return the free world a changed man," Mitchell added.
Between June 22, 2017 and August 8, 2017, 49-year-old Howard allegedly called the ISA eight different times in the early morning, leaving more than 20 minutes of voicemail messages. The caller repeatedly threatened to shoot, bomb, and otherwise attack mosques and American Muslims in general.
A Facebook page that allegedly belongs to a Missouri resident named Preston Q. Howard features posts that express support for President Trump, the Confederacy, the III% Security Force militia, and Nazi Germany. Another Facebook page listed under the same name, with the same profile picture, also features images of President Trump and Adolf Hitler.
SEE: Screenshots From Facebook Page
Among many other threats made in his voicemails, Howard allegedly said:
“We are actually gonna come to your mosques and f*cking blow the heads off of the people that are in your mosques and f*cking kill you and shoot everybody in your mosques as a mass slaughter. So either way, you sand n*ggers are going to get out of my country…just so you know. And if you think I’m joking, it's going to happen. In fact, I know where you live at.”
"The white people of America are going to kill you out of this country. . ."
"Now that President Trump is president, I'm going to report your number to the White House and he's going to do something about this....It's not going to be overnight, but I'm telling you. We're going to get rid of you one way or another."
"The United States was founded on Christian religion. That's the reason why our American dollar says, In God We Trust. It doesn't say, In Allah We Trust."
CAIR-Georgia held self-defense seminars at three different Georgia mosques just before Ramadan, and encourages more houses of worship across the state to host the free seminars, which cover personal, home and mosque security tips.
Earlier this year, CAIR’s national office released an update on anti-Muslim incidents in the second quarter (April-June) of 2017.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR’s national office has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell; 404-285-9530; firstname.lastname@example.org