(WASHINGTON, DC, 10/7/04) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on law enforcement authorities nationwide to step up police protection at American mosques during the upcoming Muslim fast of Ramadan.* That request from the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) came following a series of incidents targeting Islamic institutions in the Midwest.
CAIR said vandals smeared feces on a Fargo, N.D., mosque sometime this past Saturday. Tobacco juice had also been spit on the doorknob of the mosque.
SEE: “Vandals Hit Fargo Mosque,”
In the neighboring state of Minnesota, two Islamic centers were also
vandalized recently. SEE: “Twin Cities’ Muslims Detail Vandalism Attacks,”
Just this week, CAIR released the results of a survey indicating that
1-in-4 Americans holds anti-Muslim views. SEE: “Islam and Muslims: A Poll
of American Public Opinion,” http://www.cair-net.org/downloads/pollresults.pdf
Other incidents of vandalism targeting Islamic institutions and individuals
have also taken place nationwide.
Last month in Texas, firebombs were thrown at an El Paso mosque. In
Washington, D.C., a Muslim prayer area at American University was
vandalized. At the end of August, a Muslim in Tucson, Ariz., reported that
his family’s car was vandalized and a racist note was taped to the vehicle.
A New York Muslim reported finding his car window smashed with a brick. In
Virginia, a Muslim reported two separate incidents of vandalism to a car.
And in New Jersey, a Muslim found his car’s windshield smashed in his
Also in New Jersey, a Muslim driver reported being attacked by a white male
in another car who punched him in the face while he was sitting in his car
at a traffic light. During the incident, the attacker reportedly called the
victim a “terrorist” and a “sand n*gger.”
In July, two Muslim teenagers in Buffalo, N.Y., say they were targeted by
white teenagers who shouted ethnic slurs and then tried to hit the girls
with their car. A Muslim woman driver in Illinois and a Muslim shopper in
California were assaulted at the end of June by attackers shouting
anti-Muslim and racist slurs.
Earlier this year in Florida, vandals wrote “Kill all Muslims” inside the
Islamic Community Center in the Tampa suburb of Lutz. The FBI is also
investigating vandalism and threatening messages targeting the Islamic
Community of Southwest Florida in Charlotte Harbor. In Missouri, vandals
painted a Nazi swastika and the word “die” on an addition under
construction at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. Three Miami
Islamic centers were vandalized.
In Texas, a man was arrested for threatening an El Paso Islamic center, an
arson suspect was arrested at the scene of a fire at a Muslim business in
San Antonio and vandals scrawled racist graffiti on the interior of a
Lubbock mosque. A home-made bomb exploded in the mailbox of a Houston
As a response to these and other anti-Muslim incidents, CAIR published a
“Muslim Community Safety Kit.” The safety kit may be obtained free of
charge by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Include name, address and phone
number when requesting the safety kit.)
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 29 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
[*Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims
abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to
sunset. It is scheduled to begin on or about October 15, depending on the
sighting of the new moon.]
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