Video captures vandal smashing sign outside Rhode Island mosque
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today issued a community safety advisory for American mosques following another incident targeting an Islamic house of worship, this time in Rhode Island.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Muslims in North Smithfield, R.I., have asked for extra police protection after the sign for Masjid Al-Islam was vandalized early Sunday. Surveillance video shows a man smashing the sign with a hammer and then driving away.
SEE: Muslims in Ask for Protection After Sign Vandalized
That incident follows yesterday's fire that destroyed a Missouri mosque and the deadly shooting attack Sunday on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
[MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR officials will travel to Joplin, Mo., on Wednesday to meet with Muslim leaders and law enforcement officials. They will also take part in an interfaith Ramadan fast-breaking meal (iftar) at a local church on Wednesday evening.]
"We urge Muslim leaders nationwide to take immediate steps to boost security, particularly in the last ten days of the ongoing fast of Ramadan, when religious activities at mosques reach their peak," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad said recommended security measures, which are based on CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit," include:
- Reaching out to local law enforcement authorities to request stepped up patrols in the area of a mosque.
- Meeting with elected officials to discuss safety concerns.
- Installing video surveillance cameras, alarms and perimeter lighting.
- Documenting descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles.
- Backing up important records at an offsite location.
- Cooperating with local neighborhood watch groups.
SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit
CAIR is also asking local Muslim communities to take actions outlined in its "Guide to Challenging Islamophobia," which offers tips on dealing with anti-Islam rhetoric on the Internet, in the workplace and in schools and universities. The guide also offers advice for challenging anti-Muslim views espoused by public figures.
SEE: CAIR 'Challenging Islamophobia' Pocket Guide
Yesterday, CAIR called for stepped-up police protection at Muslim institutions and other houses of worship nationwide and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever may have caused the Missouri fire.
CAIR: Mosque Arson, Vandalism Not Uncommon (Joplin Globe)
CAIR: Mosque in Missouri Burns to the Ground (MSNBC)
Video: CAIR Offers $10K Reward for Info on Mo. Mosque Fire
CAIR: Members of Other Religions Offer Support to Joplin Muslims
Video: CAIR-AZ Rep Concerned About Copycat Attacks
CNN Video: Missouri Mosque Burnt to the Ground (CAIR)
Video: CAIR Rep Interviewed on Missouri Mosque Fire
Awad noted that CAIR issued a statement expressing the Muslim community's solidarity with Sikhs following the Wisconsin killings.
Video: CAIR Stands with Sikhs After Wis. Shootings
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