(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/3/16) â€“ The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) today called for a local, state and federal hate crime investigation of the vandalism and attempted desecration of a mosque in that state, the latest such incident in a recent spike in attacks on Muslim houses of worship nationwide.
According to police in Titusville, Fla., a man entered the carport of the Islamic Society of Central Florida Al-Mumin Mosque on Friday and broke several cameras, lights and windows. The alleged vandal also left bacon by the front door of the mosque. [NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities.]
A police statement said in part: â€œSurveillance footage shows an unidentified male entered into the mosque carport at approximately 11:00 PM Friday January 1st 2015. The suspect pulled a machete from a bag and used the machete to cause the damage to the mosque.â€
â€œThe use of pork in an incident of this type is one clear indicator of a possible bias motive for the vandalism,â€ said CAIR Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze.
He said CAIR recently called for a similar hate crime investigation after raw bacon was wrapped on door handles of a mosque in Las Vegas, Nev., and welcomed a hate crime probe of a pigâ€™s head thrown at a Philadelphia mosque.
CAIR also recently called on law enforcement authorities to investigate an apparent firebombing of mosque in Tracy Calif.
Video: CAIR-Sacramento Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Mosque Firebombing
Last month, CAIR released a preliminary report on more than 70 incidents targeting American mosques and religious institutions in 2015 that shows a greater frequency of damage, destruction, vandalism, and intimidation than in any other year since CAIR started tracking such cases in 2009.
CAIR is providing Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.htmlÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is also asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.htmlÂ Â Â
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.
– END â€“
CONTACT: CAIR-Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak, 407-490-9407, Rmubarak@cair.com; CAIR Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459, email@example.com; CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-514-4321, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com