(WASHINGTON, D.C.,Â 9/15/16)Â – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, todayÂ reportedÂ that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents, with a total of 55 cases recorded as of mid-September. Last year there were a total of 79 recorded anti-mosque cases.
The majority of the 2016 incidents have been violent in tone, characterized by intimidation, physical assault and property damage, destruction or vandalism. The Washington-based civil rights organization attributes the rise in anti-mosque incidents at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by public figures like Donald Trump and others.
A preliminaryÂ reportÂ on anti-mosque cases so far in 2016 is available at:Â [NOTE: This is not a final document.]
CAIRÂ Report:Â Targeting Mosques (January-September 15, 2016)
“This trend of increasing violence targeting the American Muslim community is deeply troubling,” saidÂ CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is important for presidential candidates and other public figures to unify Americans against hate. Any American should be able to freely practice his or her religion without fear of harm or intimidation.”
Awad added, “We are releasing this information as 2016 is now one of the worst years on record for bias incidents targeting mosques.”
In the first two weeks of September, three incidents targeting mosques have occurred. The most destructive of these has been in Florida, where a mosque was intentionally set ablaze and a suspect arrested.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members toÂ reportÂ any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department atÂ 202-742-6420Â or by filing aÂ reportÂ at:Â www.cair.com/reportÂ
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 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.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
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CONTACT:Â CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor,Â 202-384-8857,Â email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,Â 202-744-7726,Â firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ Â