(MIAMI, FL, 3/28/18) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR – FL), the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today expressed concern that a recent cross-burning in front of a home in Harbor Point, Fla., is not being investigated as a hate crime.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident in which a wooden cross was set on fire in front of the residence of Dr. Mohamed Omar Saleh, a local psychiatrist. The Florida Times-Union reported that, “Officer Melissa Bujeda, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, confirmed a cross was burned at the scene and said an intelligence unit and evidence technician were assigned to the case. But it cannot be classified as a hate crime yet.”
Traditionally, cross-burnings have been directly associated with xenophobic and racist sentiments.
CAIR-FL is assigning resources to ensure that hate crimes against the community are investigated and indicted as such.
“CAIR-Florida’s Civil Rights Department and our regional coordinators are actively contacting the parties affected and urging the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to treat and investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-FL Communications Director Wilfredo Amr Ruiz.
CAIR-Florida is the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo A. Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 305.502.6749