(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/17/13) — The nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today welcomed a 20-year jail sentence for the man who set fire to a Toledo, Ohio, mosque in September 2012 because he wanted to avenge the killings of American soldiers overseas.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Randolph Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Ind., was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $1.4 million.
â€œWe welcome the lengthy sentence in this case and hope it sends the message to those who might consider committing such acts of terror that they will ultimately face the full weight of the law,â€ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. â€We thank the Department of Justice for the swift investigation and successful prosecution of this case.â€
He noted that CAIR offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
Video: CAIR Offers $5K Reward for Info on Ohio Mosque Arson
Awad said there have been other recent hate incidents targeting American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, including:
- the beating of a Sikh taxi driver by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs and a similar attack on a New Jersey cabbie,
- threats to kill a Texas worker and burn down his store because the clerk was thought to be “Muslim,”
- threats to those taking part in “Texas Muslim Capitol Day,”
- a shooting attack on an Oklahoma Muslim family's home,
- a shooting attack on a Florida man perceived to be “Middle Eastern,”
- the death of a man pushed on the tracks of a New York subway station because the alleged perpetrator thought he was Muslim,
- the stabbing of a New York man of Afghan heritage by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim comments.
Just last Friday, a worshipper at leaving New York mosque was threatened by an armed man shouting death threats and anti-Muslim slurs.
In 2012, CAIR 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.
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, there were 8 incidents in which Muslim places of worship were targeted.”
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 the hearing, CAIR issued “Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012,” a preliminary report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August.
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-Cleveland Executive Director Julia A. Shearson, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, email@example.com