(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/19/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a hate crime investigation of vandalism targeting a Mississippi mosque.
Officials with the Islamic Center of Hattiesburg say the sign for the mosque was vandalized early Friday morning. The sign was vandalized about a year ago, and in 2014, shots were fired into the facility.
“Whenever any house of worship is vandalized, particularly during a time of rising Islamophobia nationwide, law enforcement authorities should investigate the possibility of a bias motive,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper noted the police just released video of a person spray-painting an “X” on the door of a mosque in New York and vandals targeted California Muslims with hate graffiti.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
Earlier this week, CAIR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters received a racist, Islamophobic letter sent from Michigan portraying former President Obama as a monkey and containing a page from an English translation of the Quran smeared with a “foreign substance” that is assumed to be feces.
CAIR recently called for hate crime investigations of bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims in Georgia, Wisconsin and Texas, part of “almost daily” attacks on American Muslims and other minority groups nationwide in recent months.
Video: CAIR-Georgia Offers Reward for Info on Hate Attack Targeting Muslim Teen
The Washington-based civil rights organization also decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of trend that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
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
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com