(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/1/09) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and national law enforcement authorities in Maine to investigate a possible bias motive in a shooting incident outside a Portland mosque that left one person seriously injured.
Police say the victim, a 25-year-old Muslim of Somali heritage, had been participating in nightly Ramadan prayers at the mosque on Monday when the shooting occurred. Two suspects fled the scene of the shooting. No motive has been established, but a police official told CAIR that authorities are exploring “all avenues.”
SEE: Man Shot Leaving Portland Mosque (Portland Press Herald)
“Given recent incidents targeting Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim nationwide, it would only be prudent to investigate a possible bias motive in this case,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Yesterday, CAIR called for state and federal hate crime charges against two men who allegedly called a California assault victim “Taliban” and “terrorist” during the attack.
SEE: Police Announce Arrest of Two Men Suspected of Beating Cab Driver
Last week, CAIR issued a similar call for civil rights charges after an apparent bias-motivated attack on Muslims in New York. The FBI now says it is monitoring that case.
SEE: Feds Monitoring Apparent Bias Case Involving Muslims (NY Newsday)
CAIR also recently reported that anti-Iranian graffiti was scrawled inside a Muslim-owned store in Philadelphia that was ransacked by vandals.
SEE: Vandalism at Penn. Business Probed as Hate Crime
SEE ALSO: Philadelphia Muslim Store Target of Apparent Hate Crime
Hooper urged American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com