(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/10/15) – Earlier today, the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, was evacuated after a letter containing an unknown foreign substance was received in the mail.
CAIR’s headquarters was evacuated and three staffers who came into contact with the letter were quarantined in the building, while other employees were semi-quarantined outside.
The incident was first reported by the DCist news site after receiving an online tip from someone monitoring police activity.
Subsequent field tests indicated that the substance in the letter was not dangerous, but the letter and the hate message it contained are now in the hands of the FBI for more extensive testing and investigation.
CAIR staffers have been allowed to re-enter the building.
In a social media post during the evacuation, CAIR Civil Rights Department attorney Maha Sayed wrote:
"We receive hate messages daily because of our advocacy on behalf of the American Muslim community. It's frightening to experience the hate manifest itself to such a real level. This will not deter us from continuing to protect the civil rights and liberties of all Americans.”
“We are thankful this threat did not result in physical harm to any member of our team. This incident serves as a reminder of the dangers presented by an increasing climate of hate against American Muslims and those who seek to protect their rights and liberties,” said CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch.
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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