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CAIR Calls for Bias Crime Probe of Hate Message Left at Home of Iraqi Refugees in Maryland

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/21/16)  – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a hate message left at the home of a family of Iraqi Muslim refugees in Maryland as a bias-motivated crime.

[NOTE: Any earlier version of this news release stated that the family is Syrian. Updated information indicates that while they lived for a time in Syria, the family is originally from Iraq.]

CAIR said the hate message, left on the door of the family’s home in Dundalk, Md., stated “Terrorist, Leave, No one wants you here, Your kind is a disgrace, 9/11 was your fault.†The message also included a crude drawing of a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf (hijab) and holding a bomb, with the comment, “take that s**t off your head.â€

The Washington-based civil rights organization said the targeting of the Maryland Muslim family is the latest in a series of hate incidents directed at American Muslims, mosques and Islamic centers nationwide in the past week.

[MEDIA NOTE: To schedule an interview with the family, contact CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062]

“It is disturbing that a family, having fled violence and hatred, is now being targeted by hate as they seek to build a better life in America,†said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. “We urge local, state and federal authorities to take this matter seriously and to bring the perpetrator to justice.â€

She said GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has promoted anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies, and has made a number of Islamophobic and anti-refugee statements during his campaign, which many commentators link to an unprecedented rise in hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions and ordinary American Muslims.

CAIR: Islamophobia in the 2016 Presidential Election

Chaudry noted that CAIR’s national office recently called on law enforcement authorities nationwide to offer stepped-up protection for mosques and other Islamic institutions following the arrest of three “militia†members who allegedly planned a terror attack on a Kansas mosque and on individual Muslims.

Video: CAIR Seeks Protection for Islamic Institutions After Terror Plot to Attack Kansas Mosque

CAIR-Kansas: 3 Held in Bomb Plot Against Somalis in Kansas (NY Times)

Yesterday, CAIR called on the FBI to join the investigation of hate vandalism targeting a Fort Smith, Ark., mosque. Surveillance video showed vandals painting Nazi swastikas and phrases like, “Go Home,” “USA,” “F___ Islam,” “F___ Allah,” and “Go Back to Your Country,” on the mosque and its signage.

CAIR: Second Mosque Vandalized in Arkansas – Latest in Series of Incidents Targeting Mosque Nationwide

On Saturday, CAIR’s Iowa chapter called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a mosque in that state as a possible hate crime. Worshipers at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Islamic Community Center-Masjid Al-Noor report that the word “Trump†was painted on the mosque. A police report about the vandalism has been filed.

Video: CAIR Wants 'Trump' Vandalism on Iowa Mosque Investigated as a Hate Crime

  

The New Jersey chapter of CAIR called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate and pro-Trump graffiti left at a mosque in Bayonne as a possible bias-motivated crime.

The messages, spray-painted on the walls of the temporary location of Bayonne Muslims (625 Avenue C, in Bayonne, NJ), included “F**k Arabsâ€, “Jesus Christ,†and “Donald Trump.†Worshipers found the hate messages while attending morning prayers.

SEE: CAIR-NJ Asks Feds to Probe Pro-Trump Hate Graffiti Targeting Bayonne Mosque

CAIR’s Michigan chapter similarly called for hate crime charges to be brought against a woman who allegedly threatened to blow up a new Islamic center in that state.

SEE: CAIR-MI Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Threats to Dearborn Islamic Center

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization reported that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents.

CAIR Report: 2016 on Track to Be One of the Worst Years for Anti-Mosque Incidents

The majority of the 2016 incidents have been violent in tone, characterized by intimidation, physical assault and property damage, destruction or vandalism.

In a CAIR survey of Muslim voters released last week, 85 percent of respondents said they believe that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. has increased in the past year. Thirty percent of Muslim respondents said they have experienced discrimination or profiling in the past year.

SEE: CAIR Muslim Voter Survey Indicates 86 Percent Turnout, Support for Hillary Clinton

CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com 

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