Muslim civil rights group asks that repeated bias incidents this year be probed as hate crimes
WASHINGTON, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a "terrorist threat" and desecrated religious texts that were used to target a Missouri mosque as hate crimes.
[NOTE: A representative of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) is meeting today with FBI and ATF agents at a Detroit mosque that was recently damaged by a suspicious fire. CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, 248-559-2247, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Officials with the Islamic Center of Springfield say they received a threatening letter Sunday stating that Muslims "stain the earth" and vowing that "Islam will not survive." The letter, which police logged as a "terrorist threat," ended with a drawing of a ram's head with "Death to Islam!" printed below.
A worshiper arriving at the mosque on the day the threatening letter was received also discovered the charred remains of three copies of the Quran, Islam's revealed text, at the entrance to the building. Local police and the FBI are investigating.
SEE: Islamic Center Reports Threat
"All Americans should be free to worship as they choose without fear of threats or intimidation," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to treat these incidents with the seriousness they deserve and to bring appropriate hate crime charges if and when the perpetrators are apprehended."
He noted that earlier this year, hate graffiti was written on outer walls of the same mosque. The graffiti included obscenities, a Star of David and the words, "You bash us in Pakistan, we bash you here."
CAIR: Missouri Mosque Vandalized with Hate Graffiti
Hooper said that based on this and previous bias-motivated incidents targeting mosques, American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to review advice on security procedures contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit
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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