WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Later today, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad will speak at an interfaith open house scheduled in response to recent hate vandalism targeting a mosque in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
CAIR: Virginia Mosque Vandalized as Violence Rages in Muslim World (AP)
CAIR: Virginia Mosques Vandalized (Wash. Post)
Event organizers say some 600 people have confirmed through Facebook that they will attend the open house. Other speakers include a representative of a local Christian school also targeted by vandals.
SEE: We Are All Harrisonburg-Rockingham Gathering
WHAT: Interfaith Open House at Vandalized Va. Mosque
WHEN: Sunday, September 16, 4:30-6 p.m.
WHERE: Islamic Association of the Shenandoah Valley, 1330 Country Club Rd. Harrisonburg Va.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Va., was vandalized sometime Thursday night with obscene hate graffiti, including racial slurs against African-Americans and vulgar references to Iraqis. The FBI has been contacted about the incident.
On Friday, CAIR called on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the vandalism at the mosque as a possible hate crime.
CAIR's Washington state chapter recently held a news conference in Seattle to call for a bias crime investigation of hate graffiti, including the slurs "sand n**gers," "doon [sic] coons," scrawled on a rental vehicle used by a group of Seattle-area Muslims on a recent vacation trip to Chelan, Wash.
CAIR-WA: Racist Vandalism Prompts Call for FBI Investigation
[NOTE: "Sand n**ger" is a slur used to target those perceived to be Muslim or Arab-American. "Doon coon" is an apparent reference to the stereotypical belief that all Muslims originate in deserts, therefore the misspelled reference to "dunes."]
CAIR's Minnesota chapter recently called for an investigation of a suspicious fire outside a mosque in South Minneapolis. Muslim graves in Illinois were also desecrated with hate graffiti for the second time in one month.
CAIR: Muslim Grave Site Vandalized Again (Chicago Trib)
CAIR has seen an increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims in the aftermath of the deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Recent incidents included shots fired at a mosque in Morton Grove, Ill., an acid bomb thrown at an Islamic school in Lombard, Ill., a mosque burned to the ground in Joplin, Mo., vandals spraying an Oklahoma mosque with paintballs, pig legs thrown at a mosque site in California, and a firebomb thrown at a Muslim family's home in Panama City, Fla.
CAIR: Anti-Islamic Sentiment in America Troubles Muslims (CNN)
String of Attacks Threaten U.S. Muslims During Ramadan
CAIR: Mosque Attacks Common Nationwide
Muslim individuals and institutions are being asked to review advice on security procedures in CAIR's "Community Security and Safety Tips."
SEE: CAIR Community Safety and Security Tips
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)