(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/22/16) – The Maryland Outreach Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged that stateâ€™s Muslims to remain vigilant, exercise caution and express solidarity with other vulnerable communities in the aftermath of a post-election surge of hate incidents sweeping across the state.Â
CAIR has been in contact with state and local agencies about the alarming uptick in hate incidents and welcomed Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh's announcement last Thursday of the launch of a new hotline to report hate crimes in Maryland.
Local incidents are reflective of a national trend that has prompted authorities to take measures like instating a special police unit in New York to investigate hate crimes.
“Diversity and inclusivity have long been championed in our state, but now too many Marylanders are understandably anxious and alarmed,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. “My message to them is to reject divisiveness and to choose courage over fear. It is critical that vulnerable communities across religious and racial boundaries band together, lend each other support and work actively to push back against the rising tide of hatred and intolerance.”
Chaudry is in touch with state and local officials, and is working with a coalition of civil rights organizations to devise an effective strategy to promote tolerance and empower impacted communities to self-advocate. She urges anyone with information about a possible hate crime or bias-related incident, to immediately report it to authorities and to CAIR. Chaudry also encourages exercising basic safety precautions and learning self-defense techniques.
Some recent hate incidents:
Hate crimes increase in Maryland since election
'Kill blacks' racist graffiti found in Montgomery County elementary school
'KILL BLACKS' written on Md. elementary school wall
'Trump Nation, Whites Only' discovered on church sign in Silver Spring, Maryland
Church vandalized with racist message: â€˜Trump nation, whites only
'Black Lives Matter' signs defaced at a church in Towson, Maryland
To whoever tore down our churchâ€™s Black Lives Matter banner
Swastikas spray-painted in a Montgomery County middle school boys' bathroom
Maryland Middle School Bathroom Vandalized with Swastikas
Swastikas spray-painted at a Montgomery County elementary school
Swastikas Spray-Painted at Burning Tree Elementary School
Swastika burned into a Montgomery County high school football field
'Go back to Africa' racist note left on a woman's car in Towson, Maryland
Student beaten in Montgomery County high school protest
Racial slurs on Towson University campus in Baltimore County
The FBI's annual hate crime report reveals a significant spike in the number of hate crimes reported nationwide, with attacks against Muslims increasing the most sharply. Anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States rose a staggering 67% in one year, from 154 incidents in 2014 to 257 in 2015, according to the latest numbers released.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded over 700 hate incidents in the days following the election.
Faith leaders are advised to implement long-term safety measures outlined in CAIRâ€™s booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.
A free copy of the booklet may be requested by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
If you believe your rights have been violated, you may call CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, email@example.com, 410-971-6062