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CAIR-MN Seeks Protection for Worshipers After New Vandalism of St. Cloud Mosque

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 12/17/14) -- The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called for stepped-up police protection of Muslim worshipers in St. Cloud following another incident of vandalism targeting one of that city's mosques.

 

The Central Minnesota Islamic Center reported a broken window Monday evening, the fourth such incident targeting the center in the past month.

 

SEE: More Damage at Islamic Center Sparks Fear (St. Cloud Times)

 

Earlier this month, CAIR-MN called on federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting two St. Cloud, Minn., mosques as possible hate crimes.

 

Last month, CAIR-MN sought a similar investigation of anti-Islam vandalism apparently targeting Muslims in a St. Paul neighborhood.

 

"No American should be made to feel fear when taking part in worship services," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya. "We urge local law enforcement authorities to step up protection for St. Cloud mosques until the perpetrators of these attacks are caught and punished."

 

She said CAIR is urging community leaders to implement safety measures outlined in CAIR's booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," which was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.

 

The booklet is designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.

 

A free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," may be requested by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html

 

The St. Cloud mosque vandalism comes following a string of apparent bias incidents targeting American Muslims, including the beating of a Muslim taxi driver and desecration of Muslim graves in Washington state, vandalism at a San Francisco-area mosque, shots fired at another California mosque, a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico, a threatening letter with an unknown substance sent to a San Diego mosque, threats to CAIR's Houston office, and the murder of a Muslim teen outside a Kansas City mosque by a man driving a vehicle covered in anti-Islam slurs.

 

SEE: CAIR-WA to Seek FBI Hate Crime Probe of Attack on Muslim Taxi Driver

 

Are Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes on the Rise? New Incidents Reported Across US

 

The Washington-based civil rights organization is asking American Muslims to contact a local CAIR chapter to report any bias incidents.

 

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.

 

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, lsaroya@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com