Press Releases

CAIR Stands with Florida Church Community After ‘Charleston 2’ Vandalism

(TAMPA, FL, 7/13/15) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) today expressed solidarity with a church community in Melbourne, Fla., that has been targeted three times by vandals, with the latest incident including “Charleston 2†graffiti that apparently refers to the recent terror attack at an African-American church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine people dead.

Earlier this year, vandals started a fire at the church and spray-painted Nazi swastikas on a storage unit, causing $5,000 in damage.

SEE: Melbourne Church Vandalized for Third Time

“Given the recent massacre at the Charleston church, an apparent reference to that terror attack must be taken seriously, with appropriate resources devoted to the case by local and national law enforcement authorities,†said CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly. “Florida’s Muslims stand with the Christian community as it deals with these troubling incidents.â€

CAIR’s national headquarters recently expressed similar solidarity the African-American Christian community following a series of fires at eight predominantly black churches following the Charleston church attack.

SEE: CAIR Stands with African-American Christians Following Church Fires

In California, CAIR’s Sacramento Valley chapter stood with with Fresno Christians following the possibly bias-motivated vandalism at a Christian school.

SEE: CAIR Stands with Fresno Christians After Vandals Paint Graffiti at Fresno Christian Schools

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:

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-Florida Communications Coordinator Ali A. Kurnaz, 407-694-9584,; CAIR Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459,; CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-514-4321,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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