(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/8/10) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for an FBI hate crime investigation after a Florida Muslim who worships at a recently-bombed Jacksonville mosque received suspicious white powder, initially suspected to be anthrax, in a letter sent to his home on Monday.
CAIR said the Muslim, a convert to Islam known for engaging in religious debate, was taken to the hospital for precautionary testing. The white powder was later found not to be a biological threat.
SEE: Islamic Leader Finds White Powder in His Mail (Video)
“Whenever a person known publically for their religious views is allegedly targeted in this way, federal law enforcement authorities should investigate the incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper noted that Attorney General Eric Holder recently vowed to prosecute hate crimes targeting American Muslims. In a speech on Friday to an Arab-American group, Holder said the FBI is investigating last month’s bomb attack on a Jacksonville, Florida, mosque. The Muslim who received the white powder in the mail worships at that mosque.
SEE: Holder Vows to Arab Americans to Prosecute Hate Crimes (CNN)
CAIR, which offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the May bombing, applauded the quick response of law enforcement agencies but questioned the silence of public officials and national media about the incident.
SEE: South Florida Group Offers Reward in Mosque Explosion
Fla. Mosque Attack Called Terrorism
FBI Investigating Mosque Pipe-Bombing as Possible Domestic Terrorism
CAIR attributed both incidents to a “growing atmosphere of anti-Muslim sentiment” nationwide and particularly in Florida.
SEE: CAIR Asks GOP to Repudiate Racist, Anti-Muslim Ads
Muslim Appointed to Fla. Commission Despite Smears
Recent anti-Muslim incidents have included a national leader of the Tea Party claiming that Muslims worship a “monkey-god,” a Texas talk show host advocating bombing a proposed New York City mosque and protesters at a rally against that mosque harassing Christian Arabs mistaken for Muslims.
SEE: Tea Party Leader Says Muslims Worship ‘Monkey-God’
Hear Michael Berry’s Call to Violence
On This Ground, Zero Tolerance (Bergen Record)
American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to review guidelines on security procedures contained in CAIR’s “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
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-Tampa Executive Director Ramzy Kiliç, 813-486-2529, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Muhammed Malik, 305-761-6843, 954-272-0490, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org