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CAIR-Florida Urges Hate Crime Prosecution of Anti-Muslim Threat to Family

screenshot jacksonville.com 2017 04 04 15 33 57(MIAMI, FL, 4/4/17) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on law enforcement authorities in that state to treat an alleged anti-Muslim threat to a family as a hate crime.

Robert Anthony Ruetting, 52, was arrested Saturday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly threatened a family at gunpoint and shouted anti-Muslim slurs during the incident. The suspect reportedly told the family members: “I’m going to kill all you Muslim m**f**s, get out of my country.”

SEE: Jacksonville Man Arrested After Neighbors Threatened With Guns And Anti-Muslim Insults

“Because of the alleged bias statements made by the suspect, this troubling incident should be prosecuted as a hate crime,” said CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo A. Ruiz.

Earlier today, CAIR called on law enforcement authorities to investigate two acts of vandalism targeting a Muslim prayer space at Marquette University in Wisconsin as possible hate crimes.

SEE: CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Vandalism Targeting Muslim Prayer Space at Marquette University 

CAIR recently decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.

SEE: CAIR Decries Trump Administration’s ”˜Deafening Silence’ on Series of Anti-Muslim Incidents Nationwide

CAIR-OK Releases 2016 Civil Rights Report Showing Spike in Anti-Muslim Hate Incidents

Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.

CAIR: This Map Shows How Many Mosques Have Been Targeted Just This Year (CNN)

In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.

CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html      

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-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo A. Ruiz, wruiz@cair.com, 305-502-6749; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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