Arsonist Torches Muslim Store in Washington

CAIR Calls for FBI Probe, Condemnation of Islamophobic Bias

Jul 10, 2004, 01:00 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

    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"
     "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
     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
     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: /

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations