Civil rights group views vandalism as part of spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/24/15) – The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-IA) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate apparently bias-motivated vandalism of a Muslim-owned house in Cedar Rapids as a hate crime.
CAIR-IA reports that the house, which is under reconstruction following flood damage, was vandalized with hate graffiti such as "f**k Muslim" and "You will be killed here." When a CAIR-IA representative went to the scene to investigate the incident, she was called a "raghead" and "f**king Muslim" by a local resident.
SEE: Photos of Hate Vandalism
The site of the vandalism is only three blocks away from one of the oldest mosques in America.
"The apparent bias motive for this vandalism should be investigated by state and federal law enforcement authorities. The perpetrators should be apprehended and face the full force of the law," said CAIR-IA Executive Director Miriam Amer. "This and other recent incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions should be viewed in the context of the overall rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in American society."
She added that in February, CAIR-IA called on local, state and national law enforcement authorities to investigate a threatening letter left at Darul Arqum Islamic Center in Ames, Iowa.
Amer noted that CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, recently called for an investigation of threats mailed to a number of Phoenix, Ariz., mosques, one of which was later surrounded by armed anti-Islam protesters. Nazi symbols were displayed at that rally.
CAIR has also called on the Obama administration to treat a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York as an act of terrorism and to charge the admitted organizer of the attack as a terrorist.
In another recent case, CAIR called on law enforcement authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to step up protection of a mosque and Islamic school in that county following threats to bomb the school's bus and to spill "Muslim blood."
Other anti-Muslim incidents include threats to mosques in New Jersey and Ohio, "No Muslims" graffiti spray-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, hate vandalism of a Rhode Island Islamic school and threats to murder Massachusetts Muslims.
CAIR is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Washington-based civil rights organization is also urging individuals and institutions to implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," which was published in response a previous spike in anti-Muslim incidents.
The booklet is designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.
A free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," may be requested by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
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.
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