(LOS ANGELES, CA - 7/15/2019) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) expressed concern about a suspicious package found near the Islamic Center of Northridge, Granada Hills Masjid on Sunday evening.
According to KABC/7, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious package near the mosque at 8 p.m. The bomb squad responded and discovered a pressure cooker in a paper bag. The bomb squad detonated the package. The pressure cooker was determined to have to been empty.
It is unknown who left the package near the mosque. A couple of hours before the package was discovered, the mosque had reported a YouTube personality, known as “Furry Potato,” who was harassing worshippers.
The man posted two videos - more than two hours in length - outside the mosque, filming worshippers coming in and outside of the mosque. Worshippers called the police, who arrived and attempted to ask him questions, but the man refused to answer.
SEE: Bomb squad detonates pressure cooker found near Islamic Center of Northridge
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“We are grateful no one was injured and for the response and vigilance of the L.A.P.D. Earlier in the day yesterday, the president tweeted that four members of Congress – including the first two American Muslim women in Congress - should “go back” where they came from. Later in the day people are harassed while exercising their Constitutional right to practice their religion and then a suspicious package is found outside the mosque.
“These incidents are not coincidental. As anti-Muslim hate has exponentially increased over the past few years, we have warned against the danger of how normalizing hate speech leads to hate threats and hate attacks against members of marginalized communities at places of worship, at work and in schools.”
Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA's Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at: https://bit.ly/2L9Ezsw.
CAIR-LA is Southern California’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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847 or firstname.lastname@example.org