WASHINGTON, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Muslim communities nationwide to step up security measures for end-of-Ramadan activities following a terror attack on Muslims outside a mosque in London, the murder of a Muslim teen near a Virginia mosque and the murder of two men who defended a Muslim being harassed in Oregon.
"Because of the recent spike in hate incidents – particularly those targeting American Muslim women and girls - and because Islamic religious institutions have been targeted recently in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, we urge local communities to implement increased security measures during end-of-Ramadan activities and through the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that follows," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad added: "We urge community leaders to immediately request extra police patrols in the area of Ramadan-related activities and to hire security officers authorized to carry firearms to protect events with large numbers of participants, like taraweeh prayers and Eid ul-Fitr celebrations."
[NOTE: Many police departments allow the hiring of off-duty officers for such events. Taraweeh prayers are held each evening in mosques during Ramadan. The Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or "feast of fast breaking," holiday is celebrated with communal prayers, multicultural bazaars and other family activities.]
He also suggested that local communities offer self-defense training for Muslim women and girls.
Video: CAIR-GA Self Defense Workshop
Members of the Muslim community members are being asked 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/report
Early this morning, a van plowed into worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London injuring at least 10 people in what Prime Minister Theresa May called a terrorist attack on Muslims. Witnesses say the suspect shouted: "I want to kill all Muslims."
Earlier today, CAIR offered condolences on the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston, Va., who was murdered after leaving the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in northern Virginia on Sunday. CAIR also called for a thorough investigation of a possible bias motive in the case.
SEE: CAIR Offers Condolences on Murder of Virginia Muslim Teen, Urges Probe of Possible Bias Motive
Earlier this month, Islamophobic, neo-Nazi, anti-government, and white supremacist groups held anti-Islam rallies nationwide.
Video: CAIR Rep Corey Saylor Joins Members of Congress to Denounce Anti-Muslim Marches
CAIR Calls Nationwide Anti-Islam Rallies a 'Bust,' Says Counter-Protests Far Overshadowed Hate Marches
In May, two men who were stabbed to death as they sought to defend a Muslim train passenger from an attacker shouting Islamophobic and racist slurs.
SEE: CAIR Calls on Trump to Denounce Growing Bigotry After Two People Stabbed to Death in Oregon
Because many mosques hold special prayers and other activities during the final days of Ramadan - which ends this weekend - and during the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that is celebrated after the end of Ramadan, CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions in the next week.
To assist in that effort, CAIR is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety."
A hard copy of the booklet may be requested through CAIR's website at: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
It may also be viewed at: http://www.cair.com/images/publications/CAIR_Mosque_Safety_Guide.pdf
CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.
Video: Sen. Durbin Visits CAIR-Chicago to Meet Muslim Girls Harassed at Restaurant, Denounce Bigotry
Death Threat on Muslim-American Lawyer's Voicemail Includes Caller's Phone Number: Prosecutors
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
Video: CAIR Seeks Stepped-Up Protection for Colorado Mosques Following Hate Calls, Threat
The Washington-based civil rights group recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.
SEE: New CAIR Report Shows More than 50 Percent Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents
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)