(HARTFORD, CT, 6/24/16) – The Connecticut office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) is calling on law enforcement authorities to investigate harassment of worshipers at a Waterbury, Conn., mosque as a possible hate crime.
CAIR-CT also called for stepped-up police patrols in the area of the mosque.
[NOTE: CAIR’s New York chapter is also calling for stepped-up security measures for mosques in that state after another incident in which a man faces hate crime charges after he allegedly threatened an imam with a pipe at the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Tompkinsville, N.Y. SEE: Pipe-Wielding Man Arrested for Hate Crime at Albanian Mosque, Cops Say]
Officials with Masjid Al Mostafa say a car with a flashing yellow emergency lights followed worshipers’ vehicles Thursday night. On Wednesday night, a man claiming to work for Waterbury police shouted racist and anti-Muslim slurs after being asked to produce a badge. One suspect may have been taken into custody.
“All Americans must be able to worship as they choose free of harassment and intimidation,” said CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi. “We call on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate these incidents of harassment and to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“Because of the growing number of such incidents nationwide, we urge Muslim community leaders to implement long-term security measures at Islamic institutions,” CAIR-CT Interim Farhan Memon.
He said CAIR-CT is asking community leaders to implement long-term safety measures outlined in CAIR’s booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," which was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.
A free copy of the booklet may be requested by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
Late last year, CAIR-CT called on police around the state to increase patrols near mosques and for Muslim community leaders to review security protocols after shots were fired at a Meriden, Conn., mosque.
Incidents targeting American Muslims and their religious institutions have spiked in recent months, prompted at least in part by anti-Muslim rhetoric employed by public figures like Donald Trump.
CAIR recently issued a national community security alert urging Muslim community leaders to consider instituting additional security measures in the wake of the Orlando massacre and a number of recent hate incidents targeting Muslims and Islamic houses of worship.
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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