(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/14/2015) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism at a Virginia mosque.
An official with the Manassas Muslim Association in Manassas, Va., reported to CAIR that heavy copper pipes on the mosqueâ€™s air conditioning unit were cut Monday while some worshipers remained in the facility following morning (fajr) prayers. Mosque members heard a noise at about 5 a.m. and found the severed pipes when they went outside to investigate.
The vandalism has been reported to the City of Manassas Police Department (Case No. 15-003442).
The mosque, which opened one year ago, has reportedly been targeted in the past by people driving by and shouting slurs like â€œgo back home.â€
â€œBecause of the effort required to sever the air conditioning lines, the history of previous incidents targeting the mosque and the rise in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide, we believe it is essential that law enforcement authorities investigate a possible bias motive for this vandalism,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He urged Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIRâ€™s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email@example.com.
CAIR is also urging individuals and institutions to implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to a previous spike in anti-Muslim incidents.
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 by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html Â Â
Last week, CAIRâ€™s Washington state chapter held a news conference to call on state law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate apparently bias-motivated â€œDeath to Islamâ€ vandalism targeting the Bosnia Herzegovina Heritage Association of Spokane.
CAIR-WA: Interfaith Leaders to Seek Federal Hate Crime Probe of â€˜Death to Islamâ€™ Vandalism Targeting Spokane Muslim Community Center (Video)
Earlier this month, CAIRâ€™s Sacramento Valley chapter called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a fire outside a Chico, Calif., business as a possible hate crime.
Video: CAIR-Sacramento Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Fire at Hookah Lounge
Those incidents fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community.
CAIR recently called for an investigation of threats mailed to a number of Phoenix, Ariz., mosques, one of which was later surrounded by armed anti-Islam protesters displaying Nazi symbols.
SEE: CAIR Calls on FBI to Probe Terror Threats Mailed to Arizona Mosques
CAIR has also called on the Obama administration to treat a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York as an act of terrorism and to charge the admitted organizer of the attack as a terrorist.
SEE: CAIR Says Tenn. Man Who Planned Religiously-Motivated Attack on NY Muslims Should Face Terror Charges
In another recent case, CAIR called on law enforcement authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to step up protection of a mosque and Islamic school in that county following threats to bomb the schoolâ€™s bus and to spill â€œMuslim blood.â€
Other anti-Muslim incidents include threats to mosques and Muslim homes in Iowa, New Jersey and Ohio, â€œNo Muslimsâ€ graffiti spray-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, hate vandalism of a Rhode Island Islamic school and threats to murder Massachusetts Muslims.
Â Video: CAIR-Iowa Calls for Probe of Hate Vandalism Targeting Muslim's House
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.
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