(MIAMI, FL, 4/3/2006) – The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism at one of that state’s mosques as a possible hate crime.
Officials of the Islamic Center of South Florida (IFSF) under construction in Sunrise, Fla., reported to CAIR-FL that vandals spray-painted “Osama Binleden” on one of the outside walls of the facility sometime overnight. The perpetrators also damaged an electrical box at the site.
“The nature of the graffiti in this incident would seem to indicate the possibility of a bias motive,” said CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali. “We urge the FBI to assist local law enforcement authorities in resolving this case and assuring the security of Florida Muslims.”
Ali also called for additional police patrols outside Islamic institutions in South Florida. (There are an estimated 70,000 Muslims in the South Florida area.)
Two weeks ago, officials of the Darul-Uloon Islamic center in Hollywood, Fla., reported that vandals scrawled unintelligible graffiti on the exterior wall of that facility. CAIR-FL received reports of similar acts of vandalism at five other South Florida Islamic centers last year.
The Washington-based group is urging Muslim institutions nationwide to review security procedures using advice contained in CAIR’s “Muslim Community Safety Kit.” That kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing: email@example.com (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.)
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
CONTACT: Altaf Ali, 954-298-8214, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ahmed Bedier 813-731-9506, email@example.com; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: email@example.com