CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Threats to S. Calif. Mosque Worshippers

SAN DIEGO, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) today urged prosecutors to bring hate crime charges against a man who allegedly walked into a local mosque during early-morning prayers, called worshippers "terrorist rats" and shouted, "I'm going to kill all of you."

Larry Michael Rodgers, 52, was arrested on suspicion of making terrorist threats after allegedly threatening the congregation of the Islamic Center of San Diego in Clairemont Monday morning. Rodgers remained in jail Wednesday night on $50,000 bail.

Video: Man Arrested for Threatening Mosque Congregation (CAIR-San Diego)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sOcPNe5cX8
Clairemont Man Jailed in Alleged Mosque Death Threat
http://tinyurl.com/pgjzk2c
Man Enters Calif. Mosque, Yells "Terrorist Rats"
http://tinyurl.com/olgyn8j 
Mosque Threats Lead to Arrest, Search (U-T San Diego)
http://tinyurl.com/loxhmsw 

Investigators say they are concerned that Rodgers may have been behind a series of bomb threats in May of this year targeting the Islamic School of San Diego, which is located next to the mosque. One threat left on the school's answering machine said, "I'm going to throw a bomb at your (expletive) school."

Video: CAIR-San Diego Asks FBI to Probe Threat Against Muslim School
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiIL_C2GkVo

"Based on the apparent bias motive in this case, we urge local, state and federal prosecutors to consider appropriate hate crime enhancements to any charges brought against the alleged perpetrator," said CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi.

Mohebi added that CAIR has an outreach initiative to invite people of other faiths to visit a state mosque during Ramadan. Those interested in visiting a mosque may contact the nearest CAIR chapter for information.

CAIR: Sharing Ramadan Campaign
http://ca.cair.com/sandiego/campaign/sharing_ramadan_iftar_with_neighbor
Contact CAIR Chapters
http://www.cair.com/cair-chapters.html

He also noted that CAIR's Texas chapter recently called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for acts of vandalism targeting mosques in that state.

SEE: Police Have Suspect in Victoria Islamic Center Vandalism
http://tinyurl.com/kb2546x 
Video: CAIR Rep Says Texas Mosque Vandalism Should Not Be Taken Lightly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyqXljYkpOM

In June, CAIR's New Jersey chapter sought a hate crime investigation of vandalism targeting a mosque in that state.

CAIR-NJ (Video): Vandalized Islamic Center Thanks Public and Police
http://tinyurl.com/l6qta3h

Vandals recently targeted other mosques in Minnesota and Georgia.

Video: CAIR Seeks Probe of Bias Motive for Minnesota Mosque Vandalism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awipdvm_pQQ
Video: CAIR Says Ga. Mosque Vandalism May Be Tied to London Incident
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVZGJDgpaO0
Video: CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Georgia Mosque Vandalism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNWYluib7As

In May, CAIR began distributing new safety and security guidelines to mosques and other Islamic institutions nationwide.

The new CAIR publication, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," was produced in response to recent bias attacks, including a series of incidents last year targeting American Muslim institutions.

Community leaders may request a free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html

SEE: CAIR Distributes New Mosque Safety Guidelines
http://tinyurl.com/p6678ok

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.

Become a Fan of CAIR on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational
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http://tinyurl.com/cairsubscribe
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http://twitter.com/cairnational
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http://www.youtube.com/cairtv    

CONTACT: CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi, 858-774-9991, E-mail: hmohebi@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations



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