CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Armed Harassment at NY Mosque

Aug 31, 2010, 17:18 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

Teens allegedly honked horns, shouted obscenities, fired shots during prayer services

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for appropriate hate crime charges to be brought against five teenagers who allegedly harassed Muslim worshippers at a western New York mosque.

CAIR said the teenagers were charged with disrupting religious services at a Town of Carlton mosque after they allegedly honked their car horns and yelled obscenities during one prayer service, and fired a weapon outside of another. A member of the mosque was reportedly injured when he was allegedly struck by one of the vehicles. One teenager was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Two younger teenagers may also face charges.

SEE: Holley Teens Charged with Targeting Mosque

"New York Muslims must be free to practice their faith without fear of harassment or intimidation," said Faiza N. Ali, community affairs director of CAIR's New York chapter.

"The increasing number of hate crimes targeting mosques nationwide needs to be urgently addressed by state and national officials," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Anti-Muslim bigots must learn that they will face hate crime enhancements to their charges if they perpetrate such unconscionable criminal acts."

CAIR Video: Number of Hate Crimes Against Muslims Rising in U.S.

Hooper noted that CAIR will hold a news conference tomorrow at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to launch a national public service announcement campaign designed to challenge the growing anti-Muslim bigotry sparked by opposition to the planned Park51 project in Manhattan.

SEE: Islamic Group Issues PSAs to Combat Bigotry

CAIR to Launch PSAs Featuring Muslim 9/11 First Responders

CAIR is also urging American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."

SEE: 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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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali, 212-870-2002, 718-724-3041, E-Mail:; CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, 212-870-2002, 732-429-4268, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations