Press Releases

NY Man Arrested for Threatening to Kill Head of Muslim Civil Rights Group

nihad with-title(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/16/14) — A prominent Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization said today that a man was arrested Saturday in New York for allegedly threatening to kill its national executive director, Nihad Awad.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights group, said Bernhard Laufer allegedly sent a number of death threats to Awad and other CAIR staff over the past week.

He is currently awaiting arraignment in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Laufer was arrested last year and charged with attempted murder as a hate crime for allegedly stabbing a Muslim at a New York mosque in 2012. He reportedly shouted “I'll kill you, Muslim (expletive)” during the attack two years ago.

“We thank all the state and national law enforcement authorities whose swift and professional action made this arrest possible,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “This is yet another incident demonstrating the actual, imminent harm that can result from Islamophobia.”

Hooper noted that CAIR recently launched a campaign promoting interfaith unity to counter anti-Islam ads placed on Washington, D.C., area buses by a hate group led by Pamela Geller.

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.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

Share on facebook
Share on twitter