(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/23/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded the sentencing of a Texas man to more than 14 years in prison for attempting to firebomb the Islamic Center of El Paso. Antonio Flores, 58, was sentenced Wednesday for tossing a firebomb into the center’s backyard where children were playing and placing another bomb on a gas meter. Flores told investigators he disliked Muslims and wanted to scare them into leaving El Paso. SEE: “Islam Center Bomber Gets 14-Plus Years” http://www.borderlandnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050623/NEWS/506230345/1001 When the attack occurred last September, CAIR’s Houston office held a news conference to urge that religious and political leaders in Texas speak out against Islamophobia.
“We applaud the Justice Department’s excellent work in this case and hope that the lengthy sentence sends a message to anti-Muslim bigots,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “This kind of conduct is unconscionable, and the Justice Department will vigorously prosecute any individual who attempts to intimidate his fellow citizen through such abhorrent behavior,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Bradley J. Schlozman in a DOJ news release. “We are gratified that the court recognized the gravity of this offense and imposed such a significant and appropriate sentence.”
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