Muslim civil rights group asks FBI to encourage police protection at U.S. mosques
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/28/10) — The Texas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-TX) reported today that local police and the FBI are investigating possibly bias-motivated incidents of arson, hate graffiti and racial slurs targeting a mosque in that state.
[NOTE: CAIR is also looking into a report of recent vandalism at a mosque under construction in Round Rock, Texas. A motive has not yet been established in that case.]
CAIR-TX said a Sunday fire at the playground of Dar El-Eman Islamic Center in Arlington, Texas, followed an incident two days earlier in which obscene anti-Muslim graffiti was discovered in the mosque’s parking lot. A third incident involved racial slurs being shouted at worshippers on Sunday.
A spokesperson for Arlington police told CAIR that arson investigators and the FBI are involved in the probe. Police patrols have been stepped up in the area surrounding the mosque.
CAIR-TX took part in a Tuesday meeting at the mosque in which the FBI and other fire and law enforcement officials discussed the investigation.
The Texas Penal Code allows for enhanced penalties if an offense is “committed because of bias or prejudice.”
SEE: Penalty if Offense Committed Because of Bias or Prejudice
“We appreciated the prompt and professional actions of local and federal agencies in responding to these disturbing incidents,” said CAIR-Texas Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll, who took part in Tuesday’s meeting at the mosque. “We ask the FBI to encourage police departments nationwide to step up protection at American mosques and Islamic centers.”
SEE: New York City Police to Increase Mosque Patrols During Ramadan
He noted that a mosque in Jacksonville, Fla., was recently the target of a bomb attack and that mosques are facing opposition nationwide.
SEE: Fla. Mosque Attack Called Terrorism
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Carroll said CAIR is urging American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group. 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-Texas Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll, 214-296-7138; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com