(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/21/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the FBI to investigate recent vandalism at a Colorado mosque as a possible hate crime. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said a brick was thrown through a window of the Fort Collins Islamic Center on Sunday. Some community members say the attack is suspicious because it followed a forum Saturday to introduce a “Not In Our Town” chapter in that city. “Not In Our Town” is a group formed to fight hate groups. Police say surveillance cameras captured the crime. Local law enforcement authorities have not treated the vandalism as a hate crime because there was no message left at the scene by the perpetrators. SEE: “Surveillance Video Captures Vandalism at Islamic Center http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/4397818/detail.html “Motive Eyed in Islamic Center Attack” http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~2827824,00.html
“It has been our experience that anti-Muslim bigots do not always leave a calling-card,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We urge the FBI to devote its considerable resources to assist local authorities in this case.” Hooper expressed concern about a series of similar incidents of vandalism reported in recent months by Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide. He also noted that CAIR will release its latest annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights in May. That report will outline acts of anti-Muslim discrimination, bias and violence in the past year. As a response to these and other anti-Muslim incidents, CAIR published a “Muslim Community Safety Kit.” The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing email@example.com. (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.) CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org