(SEATTLE, WA, 11/21/14) — The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a Muslim cemetery as a possible hate crime.
Headstones bearing the Islamic star and crescent and Arabic inscriptions were vandalized earlier this week at the Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Washington State's cemetery near Maltby, Wash. Community members say the Christian section of the cemetery was not vandalized.
“Because the perpetrators of this desecration appear to have targeted only the Muslim graves, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this troubling incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.
Yesterday, CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter called for a hate crime probe of vandalism targeting a local mosque. The perpetrator spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.
CAIR recently reported a number of apparent hate attacks on Islamic institutions in the United States, including shots fired at a California mosque and a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico.
The Muslim civil rights group's San Diego chapter also asked the FBI to investigate a threatening letter with an unknown substance sent to a local Mosque.
CAIR's Houston office this week asked the FBI to investigate a threat it received that contained direct references to the group's address and to Muslims being “exterminated from this land.” Representatives of CAIR-Houston also urged local mosques to step up security measures.
Nationwide, CAIR is urging community leaders to implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.
The booklet is designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.
A free copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” may be requested through our website.
Some of the guidelines in CAIR's safety kit were outlined in a community alert sent out in September.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization is also asking American Muslims to contact a local CAIR chapter to report any bias incidents.
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-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, email@example.com