(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/4/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate two acts of vandalism targeting a Muslim prayer space at Marquette University in Wisconsin as possible hate crimes.
Muslim students say the Islamic prayer room in the university’s Alumni Memorial Union was vandalized in November after the presidential election and again following the announcement of President Trump’s second “Muslim ban” executive order.
SEE: Muslim Prayer Space Tarnished
“It is concerning that these acts of vandalism occurred after an election in which Islamophobia was promoted and exploited, and following the announcement of the second ‘Muslim ban,’” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “The vandalism should be investigated as possible hate crimes, and the perpetrators should be brought to justice.”
Hooper noted that CAIR recently decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
SEE: CAIR Decries Trump Administration’s ‘Deafening Silence’ on Series of Anti-Muslim Incidents Nationwide
CAIR-OK Releases 2016 Civil Rights Report Showing Spike in Anti-Muslim Hate Incidents
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 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.
CAIR: This Map Shows How Many Mosques Have Been Targeted Just This Year (CNN)
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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.