Arsonist Torches Muslim Store in Washington
CAIR Calls for FBI Probe, Condemnation of Islamophobic Bias
SEATTLE, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Seattle office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Seattle) today called on local and national leaders to address the issue of growing Islamophobic prejudice following an arson attack on a Muslim-owned business in Washington State. CAIR-Seattle also called on the FBI to investigate the fire as a possible hate crime. According to media reports, white crosses and "F U Arab" were spray-painted inside a Middle Eastern grocery store in Everett, Wash., that was heavily damaged by an intentionally-set fire early Friday morning. (The owner of the store is from Pakistan.) Firefighters found a gas can inside the store. Investigators estimate the damage at $90,000. SEE: "Everett Arson Might Have Been Hate Crime" http://www.komotv.com/stories/32123.htm "If a bias motive is proven in this case, it will be yet another indication that our nation's leaders need to more forcefully address the rising level of anti-Muslim prejudice in America," said CAIR-Seattle Board Chair Samia El-Moslimany. On Wednesday, CAIR's Houston office called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a bomb attack on an area mosque as a possible bias crime. Suspects have been apprehended in that case, but the motive has not yet been established. Earlier this year 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. Incidents targeting Muslim individuals and Islamic institutions have occurred recently across America. A Muslim woman driver in Illinois and a Muslim shopper in California were assaulted at the end of June by attackers shouting anti-Muslim and racist slurs. 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. In response to these incidents, CAIR published a "Muslim Community Safety Kit." The safety kit may be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's window to the American Muslim community. To SUBSCRIBE to ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet /
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations
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