Head of Muslim civil rights group concludes tour of communities targeted by hate
WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nihad Awad, the national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has concluded a multi-state tour of communities targeted by hate with a visit to the Sikh temple in Wisconsin at which six worshipers were gunned down by a white supremacist.
SEE: Photo of Nihad Awad at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin
While in Wisconsin, Awad also met with leaders of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and spoke at an interfaith rally in Milwaukee against gun violence.
SEE: Nihad Awad Speaks at Interfaith Rally Against Gun Violence
Last week, Awad traveled with a CAIR team to Joplin, Mo., to meet with law enforcement officials and community leaders about a burned mosque that had previously been targeted by an arsonist. CAIR has offered a $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.
On Friday, Awad was in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for the opening of a mosque that has been subjected to a campaign of Islamophobia.
CAIR: After a Struggle, Mosque Opens in Tennessee (NY Times)
CAIR: First Prayer Service Held in Tennessee Mosque (NPR)
"With so many communities being targeted by hatred and violence, there is a critical need for a national dialogue to discuss the growing intolerance in our society," said Awad.
Awad noted that two Chicago-area Muslim institutions were hit by violence this past weekend. In one incident, a man was arrested for shooting an air rifle at a mosque. A Muslim school was also hit by an acid bomb.
In other recent incidents, vandals fired numerous paintballs at the doors of an Oklahoma mosque and, in California, pig legs were left at one mosque, and four teens face hate crime charges for harassing worshipers at another.
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 (CAIR)