Bias incidents near 10th anniversary include alleged hate crimes in NC, NY, CA
WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today expressed concern about a spike in reports of anti-Muslim incidents –- including alleged hate crimes in North Carolina, California and New York -- apparently tied to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) cited incidents such as a burned Quran being delivered to a Bronx mosque, a New York mosque sign being smashed by a speeding driver and an alleged bias-motivated arson attack on an Arab-owned business in California. CAIR urged state and national leaders to challenge rising Islamophobia.
Video: Burnt Quran Delivered to NY Mosque
Video: NY Mosque's Sign Smashed on 9/11 Anniversary
Calif. Fire Investigated as Arson, Hate Crime
Yesterday, CAIR 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
"Our nation's political and religious leaders must step up efforts to address the rising level of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society and speak out forcefully against those who promote or exploit Islamophobia," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He cited other apparently bias-motivated incidents, including threats targeting a Muslim family at a 9/11 air show in California, a package containing hate materials left at a Washington state mosque, the alleged profiling of an Arab-American airline passenger, the targeting of a Texas Muslim restaurant customer with hate graffiti, hate rhetoric used at a rally in Michigan, and anti-Muslim views expressed at a meeting of a Washington state hate group.
CAIR-MI: Woman Says Detainment After 9/11 Flight Was Ethnic Profiling
Texas Muslim Wished 'Happy Sept. 11th' on To-Go Order
MI: Self-Declared 'Former Terrorist' Speaks at Agema Rally
Video: Wash. State Parents Object to Teaching About Islam (CAIR-WA)
Hooper noted that a Muslim community in Tennessee seeking to build a new mosque is having a hard time finding contractors, despite the nation's struggling economy.
SEE: In Bad Economy, Contractors Reluctant to Bid on New Tenn. Mosque
A number of recent reports have documented the growth and promotion of Islamophobia nationwide.
CAIR: Same Hate, New Target
Center for American Progress: Fear, Inc.
Southern Poverty Law Center: Jihad Against Islam
People for the American Way: The Right-Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism
Political Research Associates: Manufacturing the Muslim Menace
Because of recent incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions, CAIR is urging 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