WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on state and federal law enforcement authorities nationwide to offer stepped-up protection for mosques and other Islamic institutions following the arrest of three "militia" members who allegedly planned to attack a Kansas mosque.
Federal authorities today announced charges against three people arrested in connection with "a major investigation." CBS Evening News tweeted this afternoon: "Officials confirm the arrest of three militia planning to attack housing complex & mosque in Garden City, Kansas."
SEE: 'Major Investigation' May Be Plot Against Mosque, Report Says
"Given this alleged plan to attack a Kansas mosque, the two other hate incidents reported today against Islamic institutions in Michigan and New Jersey, and the overall spike in anti-mosque incidents nationwide, state and federal authorities should offer stepped-up protection to local communities," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We ask our nation's political leaders, and particularly political candidates, to reject the growing Islamophobia in our nation."
He thanked state and federal authorities for their efforts in this case.
Awad urged American Muslims not to be intimidated and to take part in the political process to make their voices heard on Election Day.
He said CAIR's Kansas office is working with authorities to follow up on the arrests and the investigation.
Earlier today, the New Jersey chapter of CAIR called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate graffiti left at a mosque in Bayonne as a possible bias-motivated crime.
The messages, spray-painted on the walls of the temporary location of Bayonne Muslims (625 Avenue C, in Bayonne, NJ), included "F**k Arabs", "Jesus Christ," and "Donald Trump." Worshipers found the hate messages early this morning while attending morning prayers.
SEE: CAIR-NJ Asks Feds to Probe Pro-Trump Hate Graffiti Targeting Bayonne Mosque
Also today, CAIR's Michigan chapter called for hate crime charges to be brought against a woman who allegedly threatened to blow up a new Islamic center in that state.
SEE: CAIR-MI Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Threats to Dearborn Islamic Center
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization reported that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents.
CAIR Report: 2016 on Track to Be One of the Worst Years for Anti-Mosque Incidents
The majority of the 2016 incidents have been violent in tone, characterized by intimidation, physical assault and property damage, destruction or vandalism.
In a CAIR survey of Muslim voters released earlier this week, 85 percent of respondents said they believe that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. has increased in the past year. Thirty percent of Muslim respondents said they have experienced discrimination or profiling in the past year.
SEE: CAIR Muslim Voter Survey Indicates 86 Percent Turnout, Support for Hillary Clinton
CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is also asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)