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CAIR-Columbus Seeks Probe of Multiple Burglaries of Ohio Muslim Businesses, Urges Community Vigilance

screenshot www.facebook.com 2017 07 11 11 11 47(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 7/11/2017) — The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) today called on Columbus and Hilliard police departments to step up investigations of a string of burglaries of Muslim businesses and is urging business owners and community members to boost security.

One of the alleged perpetrators (see photos) has reportedly been seen burglarizing some Muslim-owned stores after he initially offered to wash windows for a relatively low price.

Since the end of May, at least seven different establishments located throughout central Ohio, have been burglarized, with one being burglarized multiple times. Three burglaries took place just before or during the Eid ul-Fitr (“feast of the fast-breaking”) Islamic holiday between June 23 and June 25.

“We encourage everyone in the community, particularly mosque leaders, to share the photographs of the alleged perpetrator and to encourage congregants to report any information about the suspect to police and to our office,” said Romin Iqbal, legal director of CAIR-Columbus. “We hope the Columbus and Hilliard Police Department will bring the perpetrators to justice. They must not be allowed to continue harming the businesses of hardworking Ohioans.”  

CAIR-Columbus is asking anyone with information about the burglaries or the alleged perpetrator(s) to contact local police and to call CAIR-Columbus at 614-451-3232 or email info@columbus.cair.com.  

Iqbal said CAIR-Columbus is also encouraging anyone who experiences a hate crime locally to report it immediately by filing an incident report at: https://caircolumbus.formstack.com/forms/incidentreport   

CAIR-Columbus has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.

In response to that spike in hate incidents, CAIR-Columbus is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.”

A hard copy of the booklet may be requested and viewed through CAIR-Columbus’ website at: https://www.cair-columbus.com/1140-2/

CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app       

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 misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Columbus Legal Director Romin Iqbal, 614-783-7953, riqbal@cair.com; CAIR-Columbus Legislative and Outreach Coordinator Usjid Hameed, 410-805-4215, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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