(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/19/2012) — The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.
The hearing was prompted by the national string of violent and deadly attacks targeting Sikhs and American Muslims and their institutions and houses of worship.
Today's hearing by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is chaired by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).
A coalition of some 150 organizations, led by the Sikh Coalition, requested the hearing after the horrific murders of Sikh worshippers in Oak Creek, Wis.
The testimony, submitted for the hearing by CAIR and published online, includes information on the rise of “107 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2009 to 160 in 2010” and the “thirteen days in August, the days immediately after the shocking murders of Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin, [when] there were 8 incidents in which Muslim places of worship were targeted.”
Anti-Muslim hate incidents detailed in CAIR's testimony include “shots [that were] fired at a mosque in Morton Grove and an acid bomb thrown at an Islamic school in Lombard, [Illinois]” and “a mosque [that] was burned to the ground in Joplin, Mo., vandals spray[ing] an Oklahoma mosque with paintballs, pigs legs [being] thrown at a mosque-site in California, and a firebomb [that] was thrown at a Muslim family's home in Panama City, Florida.”
CAIR's testimony also provides a listing of active anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the United States and recommendations on how to put an end to “the full range of threats posed by individual and organized perpetrators of violent hate crimes and criminal acts of domestic extremism.”
In advance of today's hearing, CAIR yesterday issued “Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012,” a preliminary report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August.
CAIR encourages those who are unable to attend to watch the hearing online and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #antihate. CAIR staff will be live tweeting commentary and observations at @CAIRNational.
The hearing will receive witness testimony from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the FBI, as well as Harpreet Singh Saini, whose mother was killed in the Oak Creek attacks.
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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