(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/5/14) — The Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, to investigate what police are calling the “intentional” killing of a Muslim teenager outside a Kansas City mosque.
The teenager died Thursday night after his legs were severed when he was hit by anÂ SUV outside the Somali Center of Kansas City. A police spokesman said: “It became pretty clear that this was not an accidental crash, there is a considerable amount of evidence that leads us to believe it was intentional.” AÂ male suspectÂ in his 30s was taken intoÂ custody. Police said he had a machete and other weapons.
Somali CenterÂ officials say a man had been threatening people in the Muslim community for months. According to media reports, that same man pointed a gun at them, threatening to kill them because of their faith.
Community members said they recognize the SUV as the one once covered in anti-Muslim graffiti. A photo taken two months ago showed writing on the back window that read: “Quran is a virus disease woreste than Ebola.”
“We urge federal authorities to get involved in this case in order to send the message that our nation's leaders will not allow American Muslims to be targeted because of their faith,” said CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy. “We again ask local, state and national religious and political leaders to speak out against the rising level of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society, which can and does lead to such violent incidents.”
Elbayoumy said he will work with the local Muslim community in developing its response to the killing.
Yesterday, CAIR's Minnesota chapter called on federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting two St. Cloud, Minn., mosques as possible hate crimes.
Last month, CAIR-MN sought a similar investigation of anti-Islam vandalism apparently targeting Muslims in a St. Paul neighborhood.
Also in November, CAIR's Washington state chapter called on law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a Muslim cemetery as a possible hate crime.
CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter called for a hate crime probe of vandalism targeting a local mosque. The perpetrator spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.
CAIR recently reported a number of apparent hate attacks on Islamic institutions in the United States, includingÂ shots fired at a California mosqueÂ and a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico.
The Muslim civil rights group's San Diego chapter also asked the FBI to investigate a threatening letter with an unknown substance sent to a local mosque.
CAIR's Houston officeÂ asked the FBI to investigate a threatÂ it received that contained direct references to the group's address and to Muslims being “exterminated from this land.” Representatives of CAIR-Houston also urged local mosques to step up security measures.
CAIR is asking American Muslims toÂ contact a local CAIR chapterÂ toÂ report any bias incidents.
A CAIR booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.
The booklet is designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.
A free copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” may be requested through our 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.
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com