(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 10/25/13) — The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism of a Delaware mosque as a possible hate crime.
Sometime early this morning, vandals targeted the Islamic Society of Delaware in Newark, Del., by tearing down fences, destroying a wooden sign for the facility and damaging an electronic sign. A cross was fashioned from the debris and placed at the site of the vandalism.
“Because of the nature of the vandalism and the fact that a house of worship was targeted, we urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this attack as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender. “The unfortunately growing promotion of Islamophobia in our society can and does lead to such troubling incidents.”
He said that just yesterday, CAIR's Minnesota chapter welcomed the decision by a high school in that state to rescind approval for an event featuring an anti-Muslim speaker who claims that American Muslims “will kill your children” and that “we are in war with Islam.”
Bender noted that CAIR earlier this week welcomed an arrest in the case of a Joplin, Mo., mosque targeted by arson in 2012.
SEE: CAIR Welcomes Arrest of Missouri Mosque Arson Suspect
CAIR: Hate Breeds Hate (Joplin Globe)
In response to previous attacks on American mosques, CAIR published a booklet called “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” 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.
To request a free e-copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” go to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR recently published a major report, “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,” which identifies 37 organizations dedicated to promoting the type of anti-Islam prejudice that can lead to bias-motivated incidents targeting American Muslims.
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: CONTACT:Â Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia chapter, 215-592-0509, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-PA Executive Director Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, email@example.com