(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 7/23/13) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on federal law enforcement authorities to investigate phone threats targeting a mosque in that state.
The bomb squad was called to the Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khorasan Charitable Trust Mosque in Englewood, N.J., on Sunday after the facility received a series of threatening calls. The squad searched the mosque for explosives but turned up nothing suspicious.
This is the second recent bias incident targeting a New Jersey mosque. In June, CAIR-NJ sought a hate crime investigation of vandalism at the Islamic Center of Morris County.
CAIR-NJ (Video): Vandalized Islamic Center Thanks Public and PoliceÂ
“Because we are witnessing a growing number of incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge federal law enforcement authorities to assist in the investigation and to speak out against the rising anti-Muslim bigotry in our society that leads to such attacks,” said CAIR-NJ Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali.
Ali noted that CAIR's San Diego chapter urged prosecutors to bring hate crime charges against a man who allegedly walked into a local mosque last week during early-morning prayers, called worshippers “terrorist rats” and shouted, “I'm going to kill all of you.”
Video: Man Arrested for Threatening Mosque Congregation (CAIR-San Diego)Â
The alleged perpetrator in that case may have been behind a series of bomb threats in May of this year targeting the Islamic School of San Diego, which is located next to the mosque. One threat left on the school's answering machine said, “I'm going to throw a bomb at your (expletive) school.”
CAIR's Texas chapter recently called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for acts of vandalism targeting mosques in that state.
Vandals recently targeted other mosques in Minnesota and Georgia.
In May, CAIR began distributing new safety and security guidelines to mosques and other Islamic institutions nationwide.
The new CAIR publication, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” was produced in response to recent bias attacks, including a series of incidents last year targeting American Muslim institutions.
Community leaders may request a free copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
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-NJ Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali, 908-668-5900, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-NJ Chair Nadia Kahf, 973-901-1618, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, email@example.com