Thursday, September 10, 2009

CAIR Concerned by 'Spike' in Anti-Muslim Incidents in Ramadan

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CAIR Concerned by ‘Spike’ in Anti-Muslim Incidents in Ramadan
Police say shooting at Oregon Muslim family’s home motivated by hate

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/10/09) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy organization today expressed concern about a recent “spike” in reports of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide during or just prior to the month of Ramadan.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the most recent incident involved a hate-motivated attack on a Muslim family’s home in Oregon.

SEE: Shooting at Oregon Muslims' Home Motivated by Hate (Video)

“We are concerned that the rising level of anti-Islam rhetoric in our society is contributing to this apparent spike in hate crimes targeting Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Our nation’s leaders must speak out against the increasing use of anti-Islam hate speech on the Internet, on talk radio and in editorial pages.”

Yesterday, CAIR’s Michigan chapter called for state and federal hate crime charges against assailants who allegedly attacked members of a Muslim family in Ann Arbor yesterday. The FBI and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights are now looking into the case.

SEE: 5 Teens Attack, Injure Muslim Girl on School Bus (Detroit Free Press)

CAIR called for similar charges in the recent case of two men who allegedly called a California assault victim “Taliban” and “terrorist” during the attack.

SEE: Arraignment Put Off for Two Men Accused in Assault on Pleasanton Cabdriver

In late August, CAIR reported a bias-motivated attack on Muslims in New York. The FBI now says it is monitoring that case.

SEE: Feds Monitoring Apparent Bias Case Involving Muslims (NY Newsday)

CAIR also recently reported that anti-Iranian graffiti was scrawled inside a Muslim-owned store in Philadelphia that was ransacked by vandals.

SEE: Vandalism at Penn. Business Probed as Hate Crime
SEE ALSO: Philadelphia Muslim Store Target of Apparent Hate Crime

In Maine, a Somali Muslim was shot after leaving prayers at a mosque. No motive has been established for the shooting.

SEE: Somali Man Shot After Leaving Mosque in Maine

In Missouri, a man was sentenced this week to three years in prison for vandalizing a mosque earlier this year in that state.

SEE: Cape Man Gets Three Years in Prison for Breaking Windows at Islamic Center

Awad cited a poll released yesterday showing that Americans see Muslims as being targeted by bias more than any other religious group.

“The poll also showed, as does CAIR’s previous research, that prejudice is reduced when knowledge of Islam increases,” said Awad.

SEE: Poll: Muslim Americans Still Struggle for Acceptance (Time)

To help educate Americans of all faiths about Islam, CAIR is asking Muslims to sponsor the distribution of 100,000 copies of the Quran to governors, state attorney generals, educators, law enforcement officials, state and national legislators, local elected and public officials, media professionals, and other local or national leaders who shape public opinion or determine policy.

SEE: Share the Quran
VIDEO: CAIR Hopes to Educate Americans About Islam

CAIR is also urging American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its "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, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Ave, S.E., Washington, D.C., 20003
Council on American-Islamic Relations Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved.

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