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Texas Mosque vandalized with racist graffiti

Texas Mosque vandalized with racist graffiti

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for the FBI to take a lead role in the investigation of an attack targeting a Texas mosque on which vandals scrawled anti-Muslim graffiti.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group said worshipers at the Islamic Center of the South Plains in Lubbock, Texas, discovered the graffiti and other vandalism early this morning.

Mosque officials told CAIR the vandals wrote "sand n**gers" and "America rocks b*tch" on the interior walls of the center. They also broke windows and damaged, destroyed or removed other items in the mosque. The FBI and local law enforcement authorities have begun an investigation of the incident.

There are an estimated 700 Muslims in the Lubbock area, mainly professionals or students at a nearby university.

"Because of its greater resources and investigative capabilities, we call on the FBI to take a lead role in this case and ask local authorities to step up patrols in the area of Texas mosques," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. He noted that just last month, a Houston mosque was damaged by a fire that authorities say was intentionally set. It has not yet been determined whether the arson was bias-related.

Hooper added that many Muslims believe anti-Islamic rhetoric by religious and political leaders is one contributory factor leading Islamophobes to act out their bigoted views.

Incidents targeting mosques and Islamic centers have occurred across America, particularly since the 9/11 terror attacks. In August of last year, investigators determined that a blaze at the Islamic Center of Savannah in Savannah, Ga., was an act of arson. In 2002, a pick-up truck was driven into the front of the Islamic Center of Tallahassee, Fla. Similar attacks have occurred in a number of other states, including Texas, Washington and Ohio.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.


Standoff Ends in Fatal Shooting

Standoff Ends in Fatal Shooting

Community and interfaith leaders will hold a press conference today to call for an investigation into a standoff that ended in the death of Eren Beyah, 27, son of Sister Brenda Beyah-Sadiq, a prominent member of the Muslim community of Cleveland.

When: Thursday, March 4, 2004 at 4:00 pm
Where: Front steps of City Hall, 601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Leaders of the African-American Muslim community, interfaith leaders, peace and justice groups, family members, anti-Police brutality activists, and other civic leaders will be present, as well as a representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"We stand in solidarity with the Beyah family in this terrible tragedy. We join the community in calling for a thorough and impartial investigation into Police tactics in this matter," said Isam Zaiem, President of the Cleveland Office of CAIR-OHIO.

At no time during the standoff was the victim's mother given the opportunity to speak to her son. According to media reports, more than 30 canisters of tear gas were used. Media reports said the victim had a gun and had fired shots. Community members allege that there was excessive use of force and that promises made by the police to exhaust all efforts to end the standoff peacefully were not honored.

Contact: CAIR-OHIO, Cleveland Office. Julia A. Shearson, Director 216.440.2247 or 216.830.2247; Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR-National 202.488.8787 or 202.744.7726.


CAIR condemns killings in Iraq, Pakistan

CAIR condemns killings in Iraq, Pakistan

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned as "senseless and shameful" terror attacks on Shia Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan that killed almost 200 people and injured hundreds.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Muslims worldwide should respond to the attacks with actions designed to promote religious unity and political stability.

In Iraq, three suicide bombings killed at least 143 worshipers in Baghdad and Karbala. Some 44 people were also killed in an attack on a religious procession in southwestern Pakistan. (A similar attack left one person dead in Afghanistan.) All those targeted in Tuesday's attacks were Shia Muslims commemorating Ashura, the 10th day after the Islamic New Year and the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

In its statement, CAIR said:

"We condemn these senseless and shameful attacks in the strongest terms possible and call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. Both acts of terror were made particularly repugnant because those responsible targeted worshipers during religious observances.

"One obvious motive for the killings was to create sectarian divisions and promote intercommunal hatred. The only proper response to these despicable attacks is a redoubled effort by all Muslims to promote religious unity and political stability in the Islamic community worldwide."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.


Californians to protest Dornan's Islamophobia

Californians to protest Dornan's Islamophobia

On Friday, February 27, 2004, representatives of Los Angeles-area interfaith, Latino, Asian, and immigrant organizations will hold a news conference outside the Huntington Beach office of Republican congressional candidate Robert Dornan to protest what the groups say is his "hate-filled" rhetoric about Muslims, Arabs, immigrants, and other minorities. (Dornan is seeking election in California's 46th congressional district.)

Friday, February 27, 2004, 10:30 a.m.

In front of Robert Dornan's listed campaign office, 18851 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach, CA

Sabiha F. Khan, Communications Director, CAIR-LA, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334

News conference organizers say Dornan has a history of making Islamophobic remarks. In a recent Orange County Register article, Dornan cited his "Middle East" and "Islamic expertise" and said, "The dark side of Islam has been a problem for 1,400 years." (12/5/03).

In December of 2001, Dornan criticized the father of John Walker Lindh, for letting Lindh "give up Jesus for a camel driver with nine wives." (CNN, 12/14/01)

During the same broadcast, the host asked: "How could you actually as an elected official in a country that embraces separation of church and state make pro-Jesus Christ and anti-Islam statements?"

Dornan responded by saying: "Why? All you've heard is pro-Islamic statements for the last three months. It's not ought to study the two men. Study Jesus Christ, a man of peace, and study Mohammed, a man of war." He went on to say that Islam urged people to "murder other camel drivers" and Muhammad said to "cut their throats".

At a rally in March of 2003 at the Lincoln Memorial, it was reported that Dornan "denounced the Koran as 'a book of war and terrorism' and said that the Koran 'must be rewritten' and that passages seen as endorsing violence 'must be expunged.'"

In a letter sent to Dornan, CAIR-LA requested that Dornan clarify whether these comments are indeed accurate and reflective of his views on Islam and Muslims.

"As reported, these Islamophobic remarks reflect a lack of understanding about Islam and Muslims," said CAIR-LA Director of Governmental Relations Omar Zaki. "Such comments demonstrate an attempt to treat American Muslims as an outcast community."

Zaki added that Islamophobic speech directed at the American Muslim community creates unnecessary division among Americans during a time when national unity is needed more than ever.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.


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