For Immediate Release
CAIR: Fla. Muslim Receives White Powder in Mail
Muslim civil rights group seeks FBI hate crime investigation
WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for an
FBI hate crime investigation after a Florida Muslim who worships at a
recently-bombed Jacksonville mosque received suspicious white powder,
initially suspected to be anthrax, in a letter sent to his home on
CAIR said the Muslim, a convert to Islam known for engaging in
religious debate, was taken to the hospital for precautionary testing.
The white powder was later found not to be a biological threat.
SEE: Islamic Leader Finds White Powder in His Mail
"Whenever a person known publically for their religious views
is allegedly targeted in this way, federal law enforcement authorities
should investigate the incident as a possible hate crime," said CAIR
National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper noted that Attorney General Eric Holder recently vowed
to prosecute hate crimes targeting American Muslims. In a speech on
Friday to an Arab-American group, Holder said the FBI is investigating
last month's bomb attack on a Jacksonville, Florida, mosque. The Muslim
who received the white powder in the mail worships at that mosque.
CAIR, which offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to
the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the May bombing,
applauded the quick response of law enforcement agencies but questioned
the silence of public officials and national media about the incident.
CAIR attributed both incidents to a "growing atmosphere of
anti-Muslim sentiment" nationwide and particularly in Florida.
Recent anti-Muslim incidents have included a national leader of
the Tea Party claiming that Muslims worship a "monkey-god," a Texas
talk show host advocating bombing a proposed New York City mosque and
protesters at a rally against that mosque harassing Christian Arabs
mistaken for Muslims.
American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to
review guidelines on security procedures contained in CAIR's "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.