Muslim civil rights group seeks local, federal hate crime investigations
SEATTLE, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington State chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) reported today that a van with advertisements about Islam on its exterior and parked near a mosque was apparently smeared with feces in an act of vandalism that the civil rights group is requesting be investigated as a possible hate crime.
[NOTE: Photographs of the vandalism are available. E-Mail: email@example.com]
The owner of the vehicle, which was parked outside the Islamic Center of Eastside in Bellevue, Wash., noticed what appeared to be feces smeared on the van's window, windshield and side door handle after he left noon prayers today at the mosque. The vandalism, which may have occurred during the previous night, was reported to local police.
Earlier today, CAIR called on local, state and national law enforcement agencies to investigate a possible bias motive for an act of vandalism at the site of a proposed Tennessee mosque expansion.
SEE: Sign Vandalized at Future Mosque Site
Also today, a Tennessee GOP congressional candidate issued a statement saying plans to build the mosque pose a threat to that state's "moral and political foundation."
SEE: Candidate Denounces Murfreesboro Mosque Proposal
Tenn. Mosque Targeted by Islamophobia (Video)
"The rising level of anti-Islam sentiment in our society and the resulting acts of discrimination need to be addressed forcefully by religious and political leaders," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "Silence on the important issue of religious tolerance and diversity offers tacit support to bigots."
Bukhari said he will contact the FBI to ask that the incident be investigated at the federal level.
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
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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.
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations