(PHOENIX, AZ, 12/13/04) – On Tuesday, December 14, the Arizona office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) will hold a news conference in Tucson to call for stepped-up efforts to investigate a series of incidents targeting Muslims in that state.
WHAT: CAIR-AZ News Conference Reacting to Incidents Targeting Muslims
WHEN: 11 a.m. (local time)
WHERE: Islamic Center of Tucson, 901 East First Street, Tucson, Arizona
CONTACT: CAIR-AZ, Deedra Abboud, 602-790-9319, E-Mail: email@example.com
Last night, a truck parked in front of a Muslim family’s home in Tucson had its window smashed. The same family reports that bullets narrowly-missed hitting family members eating dinner in their home in October. (Female family members wear religiously-mandated head scarves.)
To learn more about the October shooting incident, SEE: “Hate Crime, Were They Targets?” http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?s=2490503
“Arizona Muslims need to know that these incidents are being taken seriously by local and national authorities, and that the possibility of bias-related motives are being taken into consideration,” said CAIR-AZ Executive Director Deedra Abboud. Abboud said people of all faiths in Arizona should work together on interfaith educational programs to
challenge stereotyping and bias.
The FBI is already investigating a fire that destroyed a Phoenix-area
mosque last week. Earlier this year in Tucson, a children’s health clinic
with Muslim doctors received a bomb threat from a caller who said, “Muslims
suck. I’m going to blow up your building.” A Muslim family in Tucson also
reported to CAIR-AZ that they were threatened in a local park by a group of
people shouting racist slurs. In another incident, a Tucson Muslim’s car
was vandalized with graffiti stating, “You are not welcome here. Go back
home you stupid f****rs.”
Other incidents targeting American Islamic institutions have taken place
Last week, an arson fire heavily damaged the Al-Baqi Islamic Center in
Springfield, Mass. In late November, CAIR called on the FBI to assist in
the investigation of a fire at a Virginia gas station that may have been
motivated by anti-Muslim or anti-Arab bias. Racist graffiti such as “F***
Arab go home” was left in the vicinity of the Sikh-owned station. (Since
the 9/11 terror attacks, a number of Sikh men who wear turbans have been
targeted because they were mistaken for Muslims.)
In Fargo, N.D., vandals smeared feces on a mosque. In the neighboring state
of Minnesota, two Islamic centers were also vandalized.
In Texas, firebombs were thrown at an El Paso mosque. Also 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 Islamic center.
In Washington, D.C., a Muslim prayer area at American University was
vandalized. 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.
As a response to post-9/11 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 Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 29 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.
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