The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Muslim communities nationwide to step up security measures for end-of-Ramadan activities following a terror attack on Muslims outside a mosque in London, the murder of a Muslim teen near a Virginia mosque and the murder of two men who defended a Muslim being harassed in Oregon.
“Because of the recent spike in hate incidents – particularly those targeting American Muslim women and girls – and because Islamic religious institutions have been targeted recently in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, we urge local communities to implement increased security measures during end-of-Ramadan activities and through the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that follows,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad added: “We urge community leaders to immediately request extra police patrols in the area of Ramadan-related activities and to hire security officers authorized to carry firearms to protect events with large numbers of participants, like taraweeh prayers and Eid ul-Fitr celebrations.”
Early this morning, a van plowed into worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London injuring at least 10 people in what Prime Minister Theresa May called a terrorist attack on Muslims. Witnesses say the suspect shouted: “I want to kill all Muslims.”
Because many mosques hold special prayers and other activities during the final days of Ramadan – which ends this weekend – and during the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that is celebrated after the end of Ramadan, CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions in the next week.
To assist in that effort, CAIR is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.”
A hard copy of the booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website at: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
It can also be viewed online here.
CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
The Washington-based civil rights group recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.
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.