Muslim civil rights group asks FBI to probe bias motive
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for the defacement of a South Carolina mosque with bacon, a food prohibited to Muslims.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported that someone defaced the Florence Islamic Center being renovated in Florence, S.C., on Sunday between morning and noon prayers by using slices of bacon to spell out the words "PIG CHUMP" on the walkway of the mosque. The mosque is currently used for Friday prayers. CAIR is in touch with local police and mosque officials about the incident.
SEE: S.C. Muslims Believe They're Victims of a Hate Crime
[NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from eating pork products and such items are frequently used by anti-Muslim bigots as a means to cause the maximum offense.]
This is reportedly the second time that someone has vandalized the mosque. Earlier this year, vandals broke windows in the facility. Local police say they will step up patrols near the mosque and are investigating a possible bias motive for the latest incident.
"We urge the FBI to add this incident to the growing list of possible bias-motivated attacks on American Muslims and their institutions," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He noted that Mosques in California, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, and Florida have faced vocal opposition or have been targeted by hate incidents in recent months.
SEE: Muslim Group Urges No Plea Deals for Suspects in Mosque Incident
U.S. Monitoring 11 Sites for Possible Discrimination Against Muslims
Hate packages containing pork were recently sent to American mosques.
SEE: Hate Packages Sent to U.S. Mosques
On Saturday, CAIR's national headquarters announced the launch of a department devoted to addressing the alarming rise of Islamophobic sentiment in American society. CAIR says anti-Islam rhetoric often leads to physical attacks on American Muslims or their institutions.
SEE: CAIR Launches Islamophobia Dept. at Sold-Out Banquet
Hooper said CAIR recently launched a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign designed to challenge growing Islamophobia in America.
SEE: American Muslims Speak Out: 9/11 Happened to Us All
CAIR also launched a "Learn, Don't Burn" educational initiative in response to an extremist Gainesville, Fla., church's now-canceled plan to burn copies of the Quran, Islam's holy text, on September 11.
SEE: CAIR Responds to Fla. Book Burning with Educational Campaign
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
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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations