Muslim university students threatened in California
The Northern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NCA) said today it met Friday with the FBI about threats made against Muslim students at San Jose State University (SJSU). The threats took the form of expletive-laden graffiti scrawled at locations around the campus. One threat stated: "Muslims will be shot on San Jose State University campus on March 10, 2003."
After being informed of the threatening graffiti by the campus Muslim Students Association, CAIR-NCA Executive Director Helal Omeira called for a meeting with SJSU police, the local FBI Hate Crimes Unit, the San Jose Police Department, and the university's Office of the President to address the security concerns of Muslim students. Participants in that meeting mapped out a plan to deal with the threats.
"It is encouraging to see that law enforcement authorities are taking these threats very seriously and are doing all they can to ensure the safety of San Jose State University students. We appreciate the quick response and the professional manner in which the Muslim community's concerns were addressed," said CAIR-NCA President Fouad Khatib.
In a message sent to Muslim students on campus, SJSU President Robert L. Caret stated in part: "It appears that all the messages were the work of one individual. The San Jose State University Police Department is working with other local and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate these incidents. If you see any similar messages, please call the San Jose State University Police Department 408-924-2222 immediately."
The threats are just one of a series of anti-Muslim incidents across the country reported to CAIR in the last few weeks. Physical assaults against Muslims have been reported in Northern California, Southern California, Georgia, New Jersey, and South Carolina. One incident in Yorba Linda, Calif., left a Muslim teenager badly beaten by a group that allegedly included white supremacists.
CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 15 regional offices nationwide and in Canada. Since its founding in 1994, CAIR has defended the civil and religious rights of all Americans.