SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called for increased community vigilance after a man reportedly entered a mosque in Fremont, Calif., claimed he had a gun, and threatened to kill everyone inside the house of worship.
CAIR-SFBA also urged local law enforcement to ensure that the incident is thoroughly investigated and for local elected officials to unequivocally condemn bigotry and Islamophobia.
Video: Man Enters Calif. Mosque, Threatens to Kill Everyone Inside
"We believe the people of Fremont, who appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their city, will see this for what it is: an unfortunate act of hate," said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo. "It is important to connect the dots between this alleged incident and the constant tide of hate rhetoric and Islamophobia that we are seeing across the country."
"It is critical for members of this mosque and others in the community to be vigilant, as trends demonstrate that these incidents are continuing to occur nationwide," said Billoo.
She pointed to today's launch of the "MyJihad" campaign in Chicago as an opportunity to challenge anti-Muslim hate and misinformation. MyJihad is an independent national public education campaign, initiated by CAIR's Chicago chapter, which seeks to share the proper meaning of Jihad as believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims.
CAIR-Chicago: My Jihad Bus Ads
CAIR: US Muslims Campaign for True Jihad
Because of similar hate incidents across the country, Billoo urged mosques and houses of worship of all faiths to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit
She said CAIR's San Antonio chapter recently called on federal law enforcement authorities to consider bringing charges against a man arrested for vowing to "shoot as many people as possible" at a local mosque.
Video: CAIR Seeks Federal Charges for Threat to Texas Mosque
CAIR recently submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.
SEE: CAIR's Written Testimony to Senate Hearing
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.
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations