(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/1/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today expressed solidarity with the African-American Christian community following an alarming series of fires at eight predominantly black churches following the terrorist attack that took nine lives at a Charleston, S.C., church.
Authorities have ruled that arson was the cause inÂ three of the cases,Â one has been ruled accidental and the rest remain under investigation.
CAIR is asking state and federal authorities to investigate all the church fires as potential acts of domestic terrorism.
Late last night the Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Greeleyville, S.C., was the eight African-American church to burn down. In 1995, two members of the Ku Klux Klan attacked the same church and later pleaded guilty to the crime.
“The American Muslim community stands in solidarity with the African-American Christian community and in defense of its houses of worship against all attacks and hate crimes,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
CAIR said African-American churches, mosques, synagogues and other minority houses of worship have often been the target of hate crimes and arson.
CAIR is offering to send its publication, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” to leaders of houses of worship of all faiths.
That booklet, which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, contains safety information applicable to any institution and may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org