(WASHINGTON D.C., 8/10/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for an investigation into a possible bias motive for a fire at a Washington, D.C., Turkish restaurant that was previously targeted with hate graffiti, and is seeking security camera footage from nearby buildings.
SEE: DC Restaurant Burns Days After Opening; Owner Questions If Hate Graffiti Is Related
The fire started sometime after 4 a.m. last Wednesday. It appeared to have damaged only the exterior of the restaurant, possibly indicating it started outside. Fire officials say the cause of the fire is still undetermined and is under investigation. While the restaurant was under construction in June, it was twice targeted with graffiti saying “F*** Turkey” and depicting a Nazi swastika.
The owner provided law enforcement with a picture of one of the graffiti messages he found on a sign outside the restaurant on June 14.
In a statement, CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw said:
“The hate vandalism that came before this fire began is enough to investigate with a possible bias motive in mind. We urge law enforcement authorities to examine all security camera video from nearby buildings. This incident must be treated with the seriousness it deserves.”
McCaw said the American Muslim community and CAIR stand in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and all other forms of bigotry.
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CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
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