(PHOENIX, AZ, 3/14/17) – The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the desecration of copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy text, by an intruder at a Tucson mosque.
Officials with the Islamic Center of Tucson say someone ripped up copies of the Quran and scattered the pages around the mosque early Monday morning. Nothing was stolen from the mosque and the officials say video surveillance leads them to believe that the only intent of the perpetrator was to damage the center’s religious property.
“We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime and for religious and political leaders to speak out against the growing Islamophobia in our state and nation that results in such acts of bigotry,” said CAIR-AZ Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi.
He noted that CAIR’s Michigan chapter recently asked local, state and federal fire investigators and law enforcement authorities to probe a mosque fire in Pittsfield Township as a possible act of arson.
Video: CAIR-MI Director Dawud Walid Responds to Fire at Michigan Mosque
The Texas office of CAIR also welcomed an arrest of a man suspected of setting fire to the Islamic Center of Victoria in Victoria, Texas, in January.
A soon-to-be-published CAIR report on Islamophobia in America is expected to show that 2016 was the worst year on record for incidents in which mosques were targets of bias.
Video: CAIR Offers Reward for Info on Florida Mosque Arson
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8election.
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
– END –