TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on elected officials nationwide to repudiate growing Islamophobia in American society following an attack on a Florida man who was allegedly stabbed because he is Muslim.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the alleged attacker stabbed the Muslim victim in the neck during a Friday night discussion of religion. The stabbing reportedly occurred after the victim said he is Muslim.
A police report of the incident quotes the alleged assailant, who was charged with aggravated battery, as saying that "Muslims are the root of the problem."
SEE: Deputies: St. Pete Man Stabbed Victim Because He's Muslim
St. Petersburg Man Accused of Hate Crime Against Muslim
"Elected officials in Florida and nationwide must begin to address the rising level of Islamophobia in our society that can lead to violent incidents or acts of discrimination targeting ordinary Muslims," said CAIR-Tampa Communications Director Ramzy Kilic.
He noted that a California man faces terrorism charges for allegedly plotting to set off explosives last month at a Michigan mosque.
SEE: Mosque Bomb Suspect Rejects Muslim Lawyer
Kilic added that CAIR has recently called for hate crime probes of incidents such as vandalism at a Missouri mosque and that CAIR's San Antonio, Texas, chapter is challenging the refusal of a private school association in that state to admit an Islamic school.
SEE: TAPPS Again Says 'No' to Muslims
A number of states are currently seeking to enact legislation that would stigmatize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.
SEE: SC Bill Would Nullify Islamic Law in State Courts
Other recent hate incidents targeting American Muslim institutions and houses of worship have included an arson attack on an Oregon mosque, an arson attack on a mosque in Texas, threats against an Islamic school in Oklahoma, a bias attack outside an Ohio mosque, shots fired outside a New York mosque, an arson attack on the site of a planned mosque in Tennessee, a threat to a previously-bombed Ohio mosque, the defacement of a South Carolina mosque, hate mail sent to mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim organizations in Michigan and Ohio, and a bomb attack at a Florida mosque in May of last year.
The FBI also recently offered a reward for information about a possible bias-motivated blaze in the parking lot of a Louisiana mosque.
CAIR is 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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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations