(PHOENIX, AZ, 5/25/15) — The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Arizona (CAIR-AZ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate threats mailed to a number of Phoenix, Ariz., mosques as acts of domestic terrorism.
[NOTE: CAIR said there has been a sharp uptick in Islamophobic hate comments it has received over the Memorial Day weekend.]
The letters, sent to Muslim religious leaders (imams) from â€œPatriotic Friends,â€ refer to the recent attack on the anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas and to â€œour rogue/illegal President. Barrack [sic] Obama.â€ The writer quotes the Bible and makes a number of threats to kill the imams and their families.
The letters state: â€œFirst of all, in any state where sharia law is invoked in any way, all Imamâ€™s [sic] in the that [sic] state and their families will die.â€
[NOTE: Sharia law, similar to Catholic Canon law and Jewish Halacha law, is the set of principles that informs how Muslims pray, what they eat, how they deal with lifeâ€™s important issues such as entering into marriage, receiving inheritance and being buried. Sharia also defines Muslimsâ€™ obligation to be productive members of the larger society. It is often the target of conspiracy theorists who promote so-called â€œanti-shariaâ€ bills in state legislatures.]
- SEE: Texas Anti-Sharia Bill Dead, but Sentiment Alive
- Bans on Court Use of Sharia Law: New Year Means Two Dozen New Bills
It also threatens the â€œburning to the groundâ€ of American mosques, and states: â€œI can see entire muslim [sic] communities destroyed from Detroit to California.â€
â€œThese letters clearly constitute threats of domestic terrorism targeting a religious minority and should be labeled as such and investigated accordingly byÂ Arizona law enforcement authorities and the FBI,â€ said CAIR-AZ Chairman Imraan Siddiqi.
He said CAIR similarly called on the Obama administration to treat a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York as an act ofÂ 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
CAIR also recently 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€ CAIR also called on the FBI to investigate the phoned threats as hate crimes.
Other anti-Muslim incidents include threats to mosques in Iowa and Ohio, â€œNo Muslimsâ€ graffiti sprayed-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, hate vandalism of a Rhode Island Islamic school and threats to murder Massachusetts Muslims.
CAIR is asking Muslim community members report any bias incidents to police and to CAIRâ€™s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email@example.com.
A copy of CAIR “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, may be requested through its website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html Â Â
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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CONTACT: CAIR Arizona Civil Rights Director Liban Yousuf, 602-312-2223, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com