PHOENIX, May 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Arizona (CAIR-AZ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate threats mailed to a number of Phoenix, Ariz., mosques as acts of domestic terrorism.
[NOTE: CAIR said there has been a sharp uptick in Islamophobic hate comments it has received over the Memorial Day weekend.]
The letters, sent to Muslim religious leaders (imams) from "Patriotic Friends," refer to the recent attack on the anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas and to "our rogue/illegal President. Barrack [sic] Obama." The writer quotes the Bible and makes a number of threats to kill the imams and their families.
The letters state: "First of all, in any state where sharia law is invoked in any way, all Imam's [sic] in the that [sic] state and their families will die."
[NOTE: Sharia law, similar to Catholic Canon law and Jewish Halacha law, is the set of principles that informs how Muslims pray, what they eat, how they deal with life's important issues such as entering into marriage, receiving inheritance and being buried. Sharia also defines Muslims' obligation to be productive members of the larger society. It is often the target of conspiracy theorists who promote so-called "anti-sharia" bills in state legislatures.]
It also threatens the "burning to the ground" of American mosques, and states: "I can see entire muslim [sic] communities destroyed from Detroit to California."
"These letters clearly constitute threats of domestic terrorism targeting a religious minority and should be labeled as such and investigated accordingly by Arizona law enforcement authorities and the FBI," said CAIR-AZ Chairman Imraan Siddiqi.
He said CAIR similarly called on the Obama administration to treat a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York as an act of terrorism and to charge the admitted organizer of the attack as a terrorist.
SEE: CAIR Says Tenn. Man Who Planned Religiously-Motivated Attack on NY Muslims Should Face Terror Charges
CAIR also recently called on law enforcement authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to step up protection of a mosque and Islamic school in that county following threats to bomb the school's bus and to spill "Muslim blood." CAIR also called on the FBI to investigate the phoned threats as hate crimes.
Other anti-Muslim incidents include threats to mosques in Iowa and Ohio, "No Muslims" graffiti sprayed-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, hate vandalism of a Rhode Island Islamic school and threats to murder Massachusetts Muslims.
CAIR is asking Muslim community members report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email@example.com.
A copy of CAIR "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, may be requested through its website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.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)