CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Firebomb Attack on Fla. Muslim Family

Aug 15, 2012, 15:51 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for an FBI hate crime investigation of a alleged firebomb attack on a Muslim family's home in that state.

CAIR said a Muslim family of South Asian origin in Panama City, Fla., reported that a firebomb or "Molotov cocktail" was thrown at their house at about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday. The occupants heard a "thump" and went outside to find a 4-foot-wide fire burning under the father's bedroom window.

Family members tell CAIR that the firebomb had apparently been thrown at the father's window but missed the target. The fire was extinguished with a hose. Five adults, some of whom wear Islamic head scarves, were home at the time. Local police and the state fire marshal are investigating. CAIR has contacted the FBI to ask for a hate crime investigation.

"Any time the home of a family belonging to an ethnic or religious minority is attacked in this manner, it is necessary to investigate a possible bias motive," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Hooper said this incident is just one of a number of recent apparent hate attacks targeting American Muslims and their institutions nationwide.

SEE: Eight Attacks, 11 Days (Salon)

CAIR: Arson, Vandalism at Mosques Not Uncommon (Joplin Globe)

Earlier this week, CAIR's Chicago office reported an acid bomb attack on a Muslim school. On Saturday, CAIR also reported that air rifle shots were fired at the outer wall of the Muslim Education Center (MEC) mosque in Morton Grove, Ill.

CAIR-Chicago: Islamic Groups Alarmed by Suburban Incidents  

CAIR-Chicago: Gov. Quinn "Saddened" By Violence Directed Toward Muslims

CAIR's Oklahoma chapter called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a paintball attack on an Oklahoma mosque as a hate crime.

Video: Vandals Shoot Paintballs at OKC Mosque

Vandals Fire Paintballs at Oklahoma City Mosque (AP)

Last week, CAIR's national headquarters issued a community safety advisory for American mosques following other incidents targeting Muslim houses of worship in Missouri and Rhode Island and after the deadly shooting attack on the Sikh temple.

SEE: CAIR Issues Safety Advisory After Another Mosque Targeted

In one incident, a Missouri mosque previously targeted by an arsonist burned to the ground.

Video: CAIR-St. Louis to Join Interfaith, Civil Rights Leaders in Supporting Burned Mosque

In California, pig legs were left at a Southern California mosque and four teens face hate crime charges for harassing worshipers at a northern California mosque.

Video: CAIR-LA Asks DOJ to Launch Hate Crime Probe of Pig Legs Left at Mosque Site

Video: 4 Teens Arrested for Hate Crimes Against Calif. Mosque

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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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, E-Mail:; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations