(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/25/16) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for an apparent arson attack on a mosque under construction in that state.
Officials with the Islamic Center of Northland in Kansas City, Mo., say they discovered burns on the interior of the mosque Saturday morning when they arrived for a meeting. Kansas City police report finding two burned bottles inside the mosque site.
â€œGiven the recent spike in attacks on mosque nationwide, and the rising Islamophobia fueled by anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential campaign, we urge law enforcement officials to investigate a possible bias motive for this incident,â€ said CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed.
He noted that CAIR recently reported 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. CAIR attributes the rise in anti-mosque incidents at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by public figures like Donald Trump and others.
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 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 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
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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com