Muslim civil rights group asks for hate crime investigation; urges elected officials to denounce growing Islamophobia
NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate uncooked bacon scattered at the site of a planned prayer in Staten Island marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan as a possible hate crime.
SEE: NYPD Probing Possible Bias Crime that Could Have Marred Ramadan Celebration on Staten Island
CAIR-NY also asked political candidates seeking office in the November elections to stop promoting and exploiting anti-Muslim prejudice and urged all elected officials to repudiate growing anti-Muslim hate.
According to the organizers of the Sunday prayer service, the bacon was apparently used to desecrate the prayer site at Staten Island's New Dorp Beach park. They discovered the bacon Sunday morning as they arrived at the site. (NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from eating pork products and anti-Muslim bigots often use the animal as a means to taunt or offend Muslims, such as in a similar incident recently targeting a California mosque.)
Video: CAIR-LA Asks DOJ to Launch Probe of Pig Legs Left at Mosque Site
The planned site for the prayer service was made public in local news media the night before.
SEE: End of Ramadan Prayer at Staten Island New Dorp Beach
Comments on a Staten Island Advance online article covering the Muslim holiday, by a person identified as "midland007," stated: (Spelling and grammatical errors maintained.)
"I am going to walk my pet pig and i am gonna let him take a nice fat dump in the field ....just in time for morning prayers (:" And: "They should send in a assault team and rid Staten island of all the muslim terrorists"
SEE: Screen Shot of Anti-Muslim Comments
The Muslim community in America celebrated the end of Ramadan with communal Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER) prayers around the country on Sunday. Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset.
On Friday, CAIR said that in light of recent hate incidents targeting American Muslims, it was asking mosques and Islamic institutions nationwide to step up security for the end-of-Ramadan prayers. In its advisory, CAIR noted that in the past few days alone, hate incidents in Illinois included desecration of Muslim graves, a shooting at a mosque in Morton Grove and an acid bomb thrown at an Islamic school in Lombard.
In other states, a mosque was burned to the ground in Joplin, Mo., vandals sprayed an Oklahoma mosque with paintballs, pigs legs were thrown at a mosque-site in California, and a firebomb was thrown at a Muslim family's home in Panama City, Fla.
SEE: CAIR Asks Mosques to Boost Security at End-of-Ramadan Prayers
Video: CAIR-Chicago Responds to Hateful Graffiti on Muslim Grave
"These incidents are not a coincidence. We believe the recent surge in acts of bigotry and hatred is directly linked to the words of elected officials and those running for office who have used anti-Muslim bigotry as a campaign strategy," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad.
He said Rep. Bob Turner, New York State Senator David Storobin and Assembly candidate Ben Askelrod, among others, have expressed public opposition to Muslim houses of worship being built in New York.
SEE: New York's New Mosque Fight
Assembly Candidate Speaks Out Against Mosque
CAIR-NY is a chapter of 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