TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) today thanked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for its prompt investigation of phoned terror threats to mosques in that state and called for hate crime charges to be brought against the alleged perpetrator.
CAIR-Florida reported that a voicemail threat was left at the Islamic Center of St. Petersburg early Saturday morning, just hours after the Paris terror attacks, is now being investigated by local police and federal law enforcement authorities. Police have also stepped up protection of the mosque.
The caller said in part: "We are tired of your (expletive) and I (expletive) personally have a militia that is going to come down to your Islamic Society of Pinellas County and firebomb you and shoot whoever is there in the head. I don't care if they are (expletive) two-years-old or 100."
CAIR-Florida reports that a similar threat was made to another state mosque, in which the caller threatened deadly attacks on a number of Islamic houses of worship. The caller threatened to "bomb your (expletive) location" and spoke of "shooting people at will."
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"We thank the U.S. Department of Justice for its prompt investigation of these terror threats and urge that hate crime charges be brought against the perpetrator when he is apprehended," said CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly.
Shibly noted other incidents apparently targeting Muslims in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, including a tweet threatening Michigan Muslims and a suspected arson attack on a Canadian mosque.
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He also cited the many condemnations of the Paris attacks by CAIR and by the American Muslim community.
CAIR Condemns Paris Terror Attacks
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Video: CAIR-Dallas Rep Says ISIS and Terrorism Have No Religion
Video: CAIR-Alabama Director Condemns 'Horrific' Paris Attacks
CAIR-MN Condemns Paris Terrorist Attacks
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CAIR has recently responded to vandalism and threats targeting mosques in Texas, Kentucky, Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Ohio, New York, and other states.
Those incidents fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community.
CAIR is urging community leaders to obtain and implement safety measures outlined in 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
CAIR also asks 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.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)