(ORLANDO, FL, 1/5/16) â€“ The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) today welcomed an arrest in the case of vandalism targeting a Titusville, Fla., mosque, but questioned why the suspect in the case was offered bail of only $2,000.
Michael Scott Wolfe was arrested Monday evening in connection with destruction of property of Masjid Al-Mumin using a machete. He allegedly left bacon, an item prohibited for consumption by Muslims and frequently employed as a means of intimidation by anti-Muslim bigots, in and around the mosqueâ€™s door. Wolfe is being held on a $2,000 bail after being charged with criminal mischief to a mosque, a third degree felony.
Video: CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Florida Mosque Vandalism
Video: New Details on Florida Mosque Vandalism Suspect, CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges
â€œWhile we welcome the prompt arrest made by Titusville police department, we urge that this case be prosecuted as a hate crime,â€ said CAIR-Florida Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak. â€œOur children and families attend this Mosque and are truly afraid after a machete-wielding criminal destroyed property and desecrated their house of worship. We are concerned that this alleged criminal is being held on only $2,000 bail.â€
Last month, CAIR released a preliminary report on more than 70 incidents targeting American mosques and religious institutions in 2015 that shows a greater frequency of damage, destruction, vandalism, and intimidation than in any other year since CAIR started tracking such cases in 2009.
CAIR-Florida maintains an active safety and security training programs throughout the state, including for Orlando residents of all faiths and backgrounds. In addition to the worship center and institutional security training, CAIR-Floridaâ€™s training also includes personal and home safety. In addition, CAIR-Florida offers a free publication, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” to leaders of houses of worship of all faiths.
That booklet, which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, contains safety information applicable to any institution and may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR Florida is the stateâ€™s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Florida Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak, email@example.com, 407.490.9407; CAIR-Florida Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 305.502.6749; CAIR National Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, email@example.com, 202.744.7726