(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/17/08) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today asked local and national law enforcement authorities to bring appropriate hate crime charges against the alleged perpetrator of a March “Molotov cocktail” attack on a Kansas Muslim.
A clerk at a Lenexa, Kan., gas station told police that a man came into the store and asked the clerk if he was Muslim. When the clerk replied in the affirmative, the man reportedly started harassing him.
Soon after the man left the store, a Molotov cocktail incendiary device was thrown through the front window of the store. A similar incident occurred at another store in area. A 26-year-old man was later charged with two counts of criminal use of explosives and one count of criminal damage.
SEE: Molotov Cocktail Hurled At Gas Station (KCTV)
“We ask that local authorities and the FBI file any appropriate hate crime charges against the alleged perpetrator in this case,” said CAIR Civil Rights Manager Khadija Athman. “The additional charges would send a clear message that bias-related attacks will not be tolerated in Kansas or anywhere in America.”
Earlier this week, CAIR’s Minnesota chapter asked the FBI to investigate reported threats against the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy charter school in that state as possible hate crimes.
SEE: Muslim Civil Liberties Group Seeks FBI Probe of School Threats (Star Tribune)
The Kansas assault and the threats to the Minnesota school came following other recent incidents such as a fire-bomb attack on a Minnesota Muslim-owned business and an arson attack on a Tennessee mosque by three members of the white-supremacist “Christian Identity” movement.
SEE: MN: Investigators Say Fire Could Be Hate Crime
SEE ALSO: CAIR Applauds Arrests in TN Mosque Arson
CAIR is urging Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide to review security procedures using advice contained in CAIR’s “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
SEE: CAIR Muslim Community Safety Kit
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com