(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/6/14) â€“ The Sacramento Valley and St. Louis chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV, CAIR-St. Louis) today called for federal hate crime investigations of possibly bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims in California and Missouri.
In St. Louis, a 26-year-old Muslim woman was reportedly pulled from her car and assaulted as the alleged perpetrators made remarks about her Bosnian ethnicity.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told a Bosnian community media outlet: “They threatened to do harm to her because she was Bosnian. The fact pattern indicates that whether it was targeted because she was Bosnian or once they found out she was Bosnian the crime continued and accelerated. I was very concerned about it so we're investigating it as a hate crime.”
The attack came just days after a Bosnian man was killed by a group of teens.
In Fair Oaks, Calif., the home of a Muslim family of Middle Eastern heritage was vandalized last night with toilet paper and an American flag was left at the scene. It is believed that the flag is a reference to the false claim by Islamophobes that American Muslims are less patriotic than other citizens. The family's van was also vandalized several weeks ago.
“Because of the alleged attackers' reported reference to the Bosnian victim's ethnicity, we ask that federal authorities investigate the incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Given the widespread Islamophobic falsehood that American Muslims are somehow less patriotic than other citizens, we urge the FBI to investigate a bias motive for the vandalism of the California Muslim family's home.”
Hooper said these incidents may be part of a spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide.
On Friday, CAIR's Kansas chapter called on state and federal law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, to investigate the murder of a Muslim teenager outside a Kansas City mosque. The alleged perpetrator allegedly targeted local Muslims over the last few months with a campaign of anti-Islam hate. The FBI is now investigating the murder as a hate crime.
Also last week, CAIR's Minnesota chapter called on federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting two St. Cloud, Minn., mosques as possible hate crimes.
Last month, CAIR-MN sought a similar investigation of anti-Islam vandalism apparently targeting Muslims in a St. Paul neighborhood.
Also in November, CAIR's Washington state chapter called on law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a Muslim cemetery as a possible hate crime.
CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter called for a hate crime probe of vandalism targeting a local mosque. The perpetrator spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.
CAIR recently reported a number of apparent hate attacks on Islamic institutions in the United States, including shots fired at a California mosque and a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico.
The Muslim civil rights group's San Diego chapter also asked the FBI to investigate a threatening letter with an unknown substance sent to a local mosque.
CAIR's Houston office asked the FBI to investigate a threat it received that contained direct references to the group's address and to Muslims being “exterminated from this land.” Representatives of CAIR-Houston also urged local mosques to step up security measures.
CAIR is asking American Muslims to contact a local CAIR chapter to report any bias incidents.
A CAIR booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.
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 through our website.
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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CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916-289-3748, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-330-2946, email@example.com; CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com