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FBI Probes Indiana Mosque Fire

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/9/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that the FBI is investigating an apparent arson attack on an Indiana mosque as a possible hate crime. Local Muslim leaders and law enforcement officials told CAIR that a rock was thrown through a window of the Islamic Center of Bloomington sometime last night. Liquid “accelerant” was then poured through the window and ignited. The fire was extinguished before if could do major damage to the facility. A burned Quran, Islam’s holy text, was also found outside the mosque. Investigators from the Bloomington police and fire departments are working with FBI agents to apprehend the perpetrators. “We thank the FBI and local law enforcement agencies for their swift and professional response to this disturbing incident,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We can only hope that the vandalism and fire were not prompted by the tragic events that occurred in London on Thursday.”

Hooper said CAIR is also investigating reports that an Islamic prayer area in a Houston, Texas, medical center was vandalized and defaced with racist anti-Muslim graffiti on Friday. In response to similar incidents and to the recent controversy over alleged desecrations of the Quran in Guantanamo Bay, CAIR launched a campaign, called “Explore the Quran,” designed to provide free Qurans to Americans of all faiths. More than 15,000 people have already taken advantage of that offer. To obtain or sponsor a free Quran, go to: CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:


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