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CAIR-GA Calls for Probe of Possible Bias Motive for Vandalism of Muslim Charity

CAIR logo(ATLANTA, GA, 8/19/2016) – The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) today called on Dekalb County law enforcement to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism targeting an Islamic charity in Stone Mountain.

CAIR-GA also called on law enforcement authorities to increase police patrols near the charity as well as near Islamic houses of worship in the area.

Sometime during the evening of August 17, an unknown number of vandals shattered the glass entry door to the Stone Mountain office of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an American Muslim charity that serves thousands of Georgians of all faiths every year.

The vandals entered the office, broke into the food pantry for the poor and scattered halal meat and other food across the floor without stealing any items. [NOTE: Halal meat, like kosher meat for observant Jews, is specially-prepared meat that is permissible for Muslims to eat.] The vandals also left computers, printers and other items of value untouched.

“We call on law enforcement to investigate this cowardly attack on an Islamic charity as a possible act of bigotry,” said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA. “Law enforcement should also consider increasing patrols near the charity as well as Muslim houses of worship in the area.”

Mitchell added: “The cowards who attacked a charity in the middle of the night should know that they cannot deter Georgia Muslims from living our lives. God willing, we will keep praying five times a day, visiting our houses of worship, and donating to Georgians in need. We fear God, not vandals.”

In 2015, ICNA Atlanta assisted 23,852 Georgians of all faiths and backgrounds with everything from food drives to medical treatment to free housing to toys for kids to counseling to funeral assistance to English language classes to emergency medical training.

“The ICNA Food pantry in Stone Mountain has been giving food and serving the community free of charge since last year,” said Hamid Qureshi, ICNA's charitable relief director. “We want to feel safe and secure as we provide these services to our neighbors of all religions. Insha Allah, God willing, we will stay open as usual but more cautious.”

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-GA Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell; 404-285-9530; emitchell@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com  

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