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CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Attacks Targeting Maryland Mosque, Kingdom Hall

(BALTIMORE, MD, 3/16/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for hate crime charges against the suspect responsible for attacks on a Maryland mosque and Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall last month. 

According to police, on February 12, Heather Meisel, 43, of Halethorpe, smashed windows and threw Molotov cocktails (fire bombs) into Masjid Mustafa Islamic Center in Baltimore County, and allegedly tossed an explosive into a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Glen Burnie.

SEE: Heather Meisel, Woman Accused of Throwing Molotov Cocktails Into Places Of Worship, Charged With Arson, Attempted Murder
Federal agents connect dots in string of Molotov cocktail attacks in Anne Arundel, Baltimore counties

“Houses of worship are sanctuaries that deserve to be safeguarded and protected,” said CAIR’s Director in Maryland Zainab Chaudry. “We are calling for hate crime charges in this case because anyone who violates that sanctity must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to reports, Meisel has been charged with first-degree arson and attempted murder, but CAIR is calling on prosecutors to also add hate crime charges. Meisel allegedly said she “wanted to send a message” to the faith communities through the attacks and is currently being held without bond at a correctional facility in Annapolis.

Yesterday, CAIR marked the one-year anniversary of the terror attacks on mosques in Christ Church, New Zealand that claimed the lives of 51 innocent Muslims, by calling for unity. 

SEE: CAIR Marks First Anniversary of New Zealand Mosque Attacks with Call for Unity – #51Lives

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“As we honor the memory of all those murdered one year ago in New Zealand, we call on people of all faiths worldwide to unify in repudiating the growing white supremacism, racism and Islamophobia that is poisoning so many communities and inevitably results in such violence. It is only through unity and the rejection of hatred and bigotry in all forms that we can prevent such tragedies in the future.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Zainab Chaudry,, 410-971-6062

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