'911 Go Home' spray-painted on outside of Sikh-owned store
WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the FBI to investigate an arson fire at a Sikh-owned store in North Carolina as a possible hate crime. (NOTE: Sikh men in beards and turbans are often targeted for discrimination by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.)
The alleged perpetrators reportedly spray-painted "911 Go Home" on the outside of the burned store. Officials say an accelerant was used to start the fire.
SEE: Fire Targeted Sikh-Owned Shop in Clay County
AP: Message at NC Store Fire Prompts Hate Crime Probe
"No American should be harassed or intimidated because of his or her perceived faith or ethnicity," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Because of the apparent bias motive of the perpetrators, we ask the FBI to add its resources to the state hate crime probe of this disturbing incident."
He noted that earlier this year, CAIR's Sacramento Valley chapter (CAIR-SV) offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who gunned down two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, Calif.
SEE: Attack on Two Sikh Men Seen as Possible Hate Crime (Sac Bee)
Last fall, CAIR-SV called for an FBI investigation of an attack on a Sikh cab driver in West Sacramento. The driver said passengers made anti-Muslim remarks during the attack. Two men were later arrested on charges of felony assault and commission of a hate crime.
Hooper said that following recent incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions, CAIR urged members of the Muslim community to review security procedures using advice contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
SEE: CAIR Muslim Community Safety Kit
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