(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 11/20/14) — The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a local mosque as a possible hate crime.
CAIR-SFBA said vandals spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz, Calif.Â
“Given ongoing violence in the Middle East, coupled with the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in American society, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this vandalism,” said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo.
CAIR recently reported a number of apparent hate attacks on Islamic institutions in the United States, including shots fired at a California mosque and a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico.
The Muslim civil rights group's San Diego chapter also asked the FBI to investigateÂ a threatening letter with an unknown substanceÂ sent to a local Mosque.
CAIR's Houston office this week asked the FBI to investigate a threat 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.
Nationwide, CAIR is urging community leaders to implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which 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 requestedÂ by contacting CAIR-SFBA.
Some of the guidelines in CAIR's safety kit were outlined in a community alert sent out in September.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization is also asking American Muslims to contact a local CAIR chapter to report any bias incidents.
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-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org