(ANAHEIM, CA, 6/21/05) – The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) announced today that two teenagers were arrested Sunday on suspicion of shooting at and burning the remains of the Adelanto, Calif., mosque that was gutted by fire on June 3. The two were allegedly seen vandalizing the already-destroyed mosque. SEE: “Two Arrested on Suspicion of Shooting, Burning Mosque Ruins” http://www.vvdailypress.com/2005/111927395764334.html Detective John Billings of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told CAIR-LA that criminal charges for vandalism and arson have been filed against the teens. CAIR-LA had called on law enforcement authorities to thoroughly investigate the first fire as a possible hate crime. Earlier in the month, CAIR-LA was contacted by the director of the United Islamic Youth Organization, Seyed Mousavi, who said the mosque in a Muslim cemetery was burned to the ground. Mousavi told CAIR-LA that the 2,100 square foot prayer hall was used for funeral services and other religious activities.
The same cemetery had been targeted by vandals in 2003. Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI were notified of the incident. “We thank the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for the quick apprehension of the suspects,” said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan. “We still are looking forward to the final results of the FBI investigation of the original arson as a possible hate crime,” she added. CAIR-LA continues to monitor the situation and is working with the community and law enforcement agencies. As a response to similar incidents nationwide, CAIR published a “Muslim Community Safety Kit.” The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.) It may also be ordered at: https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=1021
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: email@example.com