(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 10/14/2016) â€“ The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today called for hate crime charges to be brought against a woman who allegedly threatened to blow up a new Islamic center in that state.
Police says the threats were made after it was announced online that a building that was previously a church would now be turned into the New Islamic Institute of America.
After the announcement, a woman posted a series of threats on Facebook, including: â€œI live right there, I seen them working on it, I should blow it up,â€ â€œThem Arabs, they need to leave America, they are slowly changing everything, it ainâ€™t gunna be America anymore in about a yearâ€¦bet,â€ â€œThat Arab church will be burnt down, hopefully there ainâ€™t kids in there.â€.
â€œThese alleged threats must be taken seriously and the perpetrator must feel the full weight of the law,â€ said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. â€œGiven the toxic Islamophobic atmosphere generated by the presidential election, only strong legal actions against such threats will send the message that bigotry and intimidation targeting religious minorities is not acceptable in America.”
Michiganâ€™s Ethnic Intimidation Act (750.147b Ethnic intimidation) provides for a felony charge against anyone who harms, damages the property of or threatens a â€œperson because of that person's race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.â€
Michigan Penal Code: 750.147b Ethnic intimidation
CAIR has noted a spike in anti-Muslim incidents in recent months, which the civil rights group attributes at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by public figures like Donald Trump.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization reported that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents.
The majority of the 2016 incidents have been violent in tone, characterized by intimidation, physical assault and property damage, destruction or vandalism.
Members of the American Muslim community are urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: www.cair.com/report
CAIR is Americaâ€™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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Legal Director Lena Masri, (248) 390-9784, email@example.com; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com