For Immediate Release
MPAC, CAIR Call On DOJ to Investigate Plot Against Mosque as Federal Hate Crime
WASHINGTON - The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a national American Muslim policy organization, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights group, are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a federal investigation of criminal threats made by a Los Angeles man who was planning a large-scale massacre at the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC).
SEE: California Man who Threatened to Kill had a Stockpile of Weapons and a ‘Hatred for Muslims’ (Washington Post)
At a press conference with interfaith leaders and local officials earlier this week, mosque officials said that Mark Feigin, a 40-year-old Agoura Hills resident, made two threatening phone calls against ICSC and also posted hateful messages on ICSC’s Facebook wall. On Sept. 19, Feigin left a message which said: “I told you f***ing Muslim rats either leave the U.S. or dump your stupid f***ing religion. F*** you, a**holes!” The following day, he called and spoke to an ICSC staff member, who said he made repeated angry threats of violence against the Islamic Center community at large.
The police were able to trace Feigin's calls and recovered weapons, including rifles, ammunition magazines, and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his home. Feigin was arrested on Oct. 19, but has since then been released on bail.
"Because of the reported bias statements made by the alleged shooter, and the magnitude of the potential harm this man could have caused to our communities, we urge the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate this incident as a federal hate crime," said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President. "Federal officials need to send a clear message that attacks on any group will not be tolerated and that the perpetrators will face the full force of the law."
“We’ve seen the real implications of the Islamophobic and anti-Muslim rhetoric the American Muslim community has faced this election cycle through an increase in hate crimes, a foiled plot in Kansas and now this incident in Los Angeles,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "We urge the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a robust investigation of this incident as the magnitude of such threats demands the attention and involvement of federal resources."
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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.