(ANAHEIM, CA, 6/3/05) – The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today called on the FBI to investigate a fire at a Muslim prayer hall in that state as a possible hate crime. CAIR-LA was contacted by the director of the United Islamic Youth Organization who said the prayer hall, located at an Islamic cemetery in Adelanto, Calif., was burned to the ground early this morning. That official told CAIR-LA that the 2,000 square foot prayer hall was used for funeral services and other religious activities. The same cemetery had been targeted by vandals in 2003. Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI were notified of the incident. “We urge the FBI and other law enforcement agencies working on the case to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan.
“We pray that the perpetrators, whatever their motive, are caught and brought to justice.” Khan said a series of similar incidents has been reported in recent months by Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide. Last weekend, CAIR’s Florida office reported that vandals threw a large rock through a glass door of the Islamic School of Miami’s prayer area. Just last month, a brick was thrown through a window of the Fort Collins (Colo.) Islamic Center. 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 email@example.com. (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.) It may also be ordered at: https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=1021
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: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-National, Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist’s window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society. To SUBSCRIBE to ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/