(TAMPA, FL, 3/27/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations – Florida (CAIR-Florida), the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the neo-Nazi vandalism targeting the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth Beach, Fla.
Media reports highlighted hate graffiti painted at the entrance of the Guatemalan-Maya Center. A swastika painting was followed with “Voting won’t stop us this time”. An additional graffiti “God Bless America” was discovered painted on their garage gate door.
1. PB Post: Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth Beach targeted in possible hate crime( https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20200326/new-guatemalan-maya-center-in-lake-worth-beach-targeted-in-possible-hate-crime )
2. WPTV: Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth Beach sprayed with racist graffiti (https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/lake-worth/guatemalan-maya-center-in-lake-worth-beach-sprayed-with-racist-graffiti)
In a statement, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly said:
“As soon as we learned that our neighbors from the Guatemalan-Maya Center were victims of a hate crime, I tasked our communications director to contact the center directly to assess their needs. They were extremely appreciative of our solidarity. They certainly don’t need to experience this hate when times are calling for solidarity and compassion.”
Shibly added: “We are hopeful that the Guatemalan-Maya Center staff and the many thousands that they graciously serve heal soon. Adding to this, they are also experiencing the present COVID-19 pandemic, so CAIR-Florida has tapped into multiple Muslim relief organizations to deliver groceries to those families in need served by the Maya Center during the pandemic.”
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 found in the link or may be requested by contacting CAIR-Florida.
CAIR-Florida’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, proteger las libertades civiles, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.