WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on GOP presidential candidates taking part in tonight's debate to speak out clearly against the recent unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes nationwide in recent weeks.
CAIR has attributed that spike in hate crimes at least in part to anti-Muslim rhetoric by GOP presidential candidates like Donald Trump, who called for a complete ban on Muslims entering America, and Ben Carson, who claimed a Muslim should never be allowed to be president.
Video: CAIR Reports Unprecedented Anti-Muslim Backlash, Blames GOP Presidential Candidates (CNN)
CAIR: The Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Reported Since San Bernardino
CAIR-SFBA: Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Fuels Fear and Violence (NY Times)
In American Mosques, Growing Safety Concerns — and More Armed Guards (Reuters)
In a statement, CAIR said:
"Unfortunately, we anticipate tonight's debate to include a continuation of the Muslim-bashing we have heard from some Republican presidential candidates in recent weeks. While those who promote and exploit anti-Muslim bigotry may see their poll numbers increase temporarily, their un-American rhetoric is causing long-term harm to our nation's image and to ordinary American Muslims who are bearing the brunt of the hatred generated by pandering to fear and hysteria."
CAIR noted that just today, its Michigan chapter called for a hate crime investigation into the wounding of a store clerk of Indian heritage called a "terrorist" and then shot in the face.
SEE: CAIR-MI Asks DOJ to Investigate Clerk's Shooting as Hate Crime
Other incidents reported today include hate graffiti targeting a mosque in Georgia, threats to a Florida mosque and raw meat and Islamic items left at a Muslim's home in Pennsylvania.
SEE: Macon Mosque Vandalism Highlights National Anti-Muslim Attacks
Miami Gardens Mosque, Islamic School in Cooper City Targeted in Hateful Acts
Raw Meat with Muslim Newspaper, Prayer Found on Porch In Mt. Airy
Yesterday, CAIR launched a Change.org petition calling on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to denounce Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric within the Republican Party.
PETITION: The Republican Party Must Denounce the Dangerous Islamophobia of Candidates and Officials
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.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)