(SACRAMENTO, CA, 3/10/11) — The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today took part in a news conference with local and federal law enforcement authorities to announce an arrest in the case of a mosque in that state that was vandalized last August with a brick and hate signs.
SEE: Arrest Made in Suspected Calif. Hate Crime (AP)
Signs left last August at the Madera, Calif., Islamic center stated “No Temple for the God of terrorism at Ground Zero. ANB,” “Wake up America, the Enemy is here. ANB” and “American Nationalist Brotherhood.” The first message was an apparent reference to the planned Park51 Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan.
CAIR: Calif. Mosque Vandalized with Hate Signs
The suspect, Donny Eugene Mower, is also believed to have carried out the attempted firebombing of the Planned Parenthood building in Madera on September 2, 2010.
SEE: Arrest Made in Firebomb Attempt of Planned Parenthood (Fresno Bee)
“We welcome this important arrest and thank all the law enforcement agencies that took part in the investigation,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, who spoke at today’s news conference. “Our nation’s leaders need to speak out against the rising level of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society that apparently led to this hate crime.”
He said agencies involved in the investigation included the local sheriff’s department, the FBI, the California Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Elkarra noted that CAIR-SV recently offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who gunned down two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, Calif. One of the men died at the scene of the shooting, while the other remains hospitalized. Sikh men in beards and turbans are often targeted for discrimination by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.
SEE: CAIR Offers Reward for Info on Gunman in Deadly Shooting
Last fall, CAIR-SV called for an FBI investigation of an attack on a Sikh cab driver in West Sacramento. The driver said passengers made anti-Muslim remarks during the attack. One man will face 13 years in prison after pleading no contest Monday in the attack.
SEE: No Contest Plea in Attack of Sikh Cabbie (Daily Dem.)
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-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916-289-3748, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org