(BALTIMORE, MD, 5/16/19) – On Saturday, May 18, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and interfaith partners will join the Diyanet Center of America (DCA) community to stand in solidarity with its sister community in Connecticut that was recently targeted by an arsonist and to call on lawmakers to enact measures to prevent and punish hate crimes against houses of worship in America.
Attendees will have the opportunity to write messages of support and solidarity to be delivered to the Connecticut Muslim community.
WHAT: Interfaith Solidarity Action for Connecticut Diyanet Mosque
WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Diyanet Center of America Courtyard, 9610 Good Luck Road, Lanham, Md.
NOTE: Action will be moved to the cultural center auditorium in case of inclement weather.
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, email@example.com, 410-971-6062, Diyanet Center of America: Humnah Kenasari, firstname.lastname@example.org, 571-419-8820
“We urge people of all faiths to join together to help heal the divisions that we are witnessing every day in our nation,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry.
DCA President Fatih Kanca said in a statement:
“We, as Muslim members of the American society, feel a deep sorrow due to the outrageous attack on Diyanet Mosque in New Haven, Connecticut. In this area, the people of faith have been living in peace and solidarity for a long time. We recognize diversity as a source of strength and won't let such incidents weaken our unity and faith in each other. Any attack on a place of worship is an attack on all places of worship, any attack on a community is an attack on all communities. We are united with our friends and neighbors from all faiths and traditions to restore the mosque and bring peace to the community. Join us at the vigil to unite against hate and share messages of love and solidarity."
Earlier this week, the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT), called on law enforcement officials to investigate a possible bias motive for the fire. CAIR-CT also offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
SEE: CAIR-Connecticut Calls for Probe of Possible Bias Motive for New Haven Mosque Arson
CAIR-CT group is organizing a vigil with the Connecticut Muslim and interfaith community this Thursday.
SEE: Vigil to be held at New Haven mosque Thursday
BACKGROUND: On the morning of Sunday, May 12, the Diyanet mosque in Connecticut was targeted in a hateful act of arson. The devastating two-alarm fire broke out on the first floor and spread to the second floor, causing the structure that was still under construction - to sustain extensive damage.
SEE: New Haven Fire Chief: Mosque Blaze was Arson
Authorities have determined that the fire was deliberately set. This latest attack is part of a wave of Islamophobia sweeping across the country.
SEE: CAIR-San Diego Condemns Arson Attack on Escondido Mosque, Plans Interfaith Vigil
As of Wednesday afternoon, a LaunchGood campaign to raise funds for the mosque has raised more than $115,000.
The Washington-based civil rights organization is urging mosques and other Islamic institutions to take measures outlined in its "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" booklet.
Advice offered in CAIR’s security publication is applicable to all institutions, regardless of organizational mission.
The booklet may be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/BestSafetyPractices
Earlier this year, CAIR offered a community safety webinar with two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) security experts. Webinar participants included staff and administrators from some 100 Islamic centers, mosques, Islamic schools, and other Muslim community institutions nationwide.
Video: CAIR Islamic Community Safety Webinar with DHS Officials
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.