(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/1/15) — 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 vandalism targeting Sudanese refugeesin Anchorage, Ala., as a hate crime. According to media reports, the refugees found graffiti with messages such as “Leave Alaska,” “Get Out” and “Go Now” scrawled on their cars and the tires of their vehicles deflated.
The victims were concerned about the initial police response to the vandalism. Officers only interviewed them after media reported on the case. When the vandalism was first reported, the FBI said was not involved in the investigation.
SEE: Police Tell Sudanese the Response to Vandalism Could Have Been Better (Alaska Dispatch News)
“Any time there is overt evidence of a bias motive, law enforcement authorities should investigate the case as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “The FBI should add its resources to the investigation of this troubling incident.”
Hooper said the vandalism is just part of a recent spate of hate incidents nationwide targeting Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim.
SEE: CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Probe of Threat to Iowa Mosque
Video: CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Probes of New Threats to Ohio Mosques
CAIR: Rhode Island Islamic School Vandalized with Hate Graffiti (Video)
Video: Massachusetts Muslims Threatened with Murder
He said CAIR is asking community members report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email@example.com.
CAIR is also urging community members and institutions to implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions.
A free copy of “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” may be requested through CAIR's 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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org