For Immediate Release
FBI Asked to Probe Arson at Georgia Mosque
WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the
FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for a fire at a Georgia mosque
that officials say "appears" to be intentionally set.
CAIR reported that the fire broke out late Monday at the
Islamic Center of Marietta (Masjid Al-Hedaya) and resulted in severe
damage to the facility. Evidence of forcible entry and vandalism were
discovered at the site. Local authorities are investigating the blaze as
a possible hate crime.
"Given the recent wave of incidents targeting American mosques,
a possible bias motive for this apparent arson attack must be
considered," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim
Hooper. "Unfortunately, there is a vocal minority in our
society promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, and that minority is experiencing
little or no pushback from mainstream religious and political leaders."
He said other recent Islamophobic incidents include a hate
rally yesterday against a Florida mosque and a planned protest against
the expansion of an Islamic center in Tennessee.
Hooper noted that CAIR recently called on the FBI to
investigate a threat made to bomb a proposed mosque in Sheepshead Bay,
Mosques in New York also faced hate rhetoric by opponents, as
did several others in Tennessee. A mosque in Jacksonville, Fla., was
recently the target of a bomb attack. A Houston radio host made a
controversial on-air call for the bombing of a proposed mosque and
community center in New York City.
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The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy
organization is 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.