(BOSTON, MA, 8/12/15) – The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) and the Boston-based Muslim Justice League today joined in expressing solidarity with St. Anneâ€™s Catholic Church in Southborough, Mass., which was again targeted with hate graffiti containing racial and religious slurs.Â
Last Sunday, for the second time in two weeks, vandals scrawled offensive remarks on and near church property, including ones directed against Muslims.
St. Anneâ€™s held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday to counter the messagesâ€™ hatred with prayers for peace and understanding, which was attended by people of many faith backgrounds.
â€œWe stand in solidarity with the parishioners at St. Anneâ€™s after these deeply offensive acts. Weâ€™re always appalled to hear of hate speech and vandalism being employed, but especially so at a place thatâ€™s meant to foster peace and worship,â€ said Dr. John Robbins, executive director of CAIR-MA.Â â€œThat some of the slurs targeted Muslims makes the matter even more personally unsettling for local practitioners of Islam.â€
â€œWe are dismayed by the news of this hateful vandalism,â€ said Shannon Erwin, executive director of the Muslim Justice League. â€œYet the response of St. Anne's Church and the Southborough community reminds us that people of conscience, standing against hate, are united by one struggle for human dignity and against bigotry.â€
CAIR has in the past expressed solidarity with Christian communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, and California following acts of vandalism, arson or bombings.
The Washington-based civil rights group is offering to send its 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:Â http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MA Executive Director Dr. John Robbins, 617-862-9159, jRobbins@cair.com; Muslim Justice League Executive Director Shannon Erwin, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org