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CAIR Welcomes Mosque Arsonist’s Federal Indictment for Hate Crime

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/12/20) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the federal indictment on hate crime charges of a man for allegedly setting fire to the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center.

SEE: Missouri Man Indicted for Hate Crime and Arson Charges

On April 24th, the first day of Ramadan, Nicholas Proffitt, 42, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., allegedly set fire to the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center. He was arrested shortly after and charged with arson.

SEE: Man Faces Federal Arson Charges After Setting Missouri Islamic Center on Fire

CAIR had called for the federal government to pursue a hate crime charge against Proffitt on April 30th.  

SEE: CAIR Calls on DOJ to Add Hate Crime Charges

“This hate crime charge is a clear signal to Muslims in Cape Girardeau and beyond that US Attorney Jeff Jensen stands ready to protect the Muslim community and will deploy the resources necessary to do so,” said CAIR-MO Board Chair Yasir Ali. SEE:

“Bigotry must be rejected, and this indictment reflects the gravity of the damage Proffitt has allegedly done to the community,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas.

The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants, and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims


In 2009, Proffitt was charged with first-degree property damage for throwing rocks at the same mosque and second-degree property damage for damaging a vehicle in the facility’s parking lot. 

In 2005, Proffitt (known by a different name, Nicholas Stearns) was reportedly arrested for vandalizing a mosque in Dearborn, Mich.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT:  CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,; CAIR-Missouri Board Chair Yasir Ali,

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