September 13th, 2010 10:49 EST
Muslim Civil Rights Group Calls for Stepped Up Police Protection At Mosques Nationwide
CAIR: Burned, Shot Quran Left at Tenn. Mosque
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called for stepped up police protection at mosques nationwide after a copy of the Quran that had been burned and apparently shot, was discovered yesterday at a Tennessee mosque.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the Quran desecration was just one of a number of similar incidents targeting American mosques in recent days.
An official with the Annoor Mosque (Muslim Community of Knoxville) in Knoxville, Tenn., said worshippers discovered the desecrated Quran at the entrance to the facility around noon on Sunday. The incident has been reported to Knoxville police (Report #10-036-084) and to the FBI.
In a similar incident on Saturday, CAIR reported that a burned copy of the Quran was found at a Michigan mosque.
SEE: Quran Burned in East Lansing
CAIR-MI: Authorities Investigate Vandalism at Islamic Center (Video)
In other incidents, CAIR has called for federal hate crime charges to be brought against three men who allegedly painted a racist slur on a mosque in New York.
Last week, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for recent vandalism at a Phoenix mosque site.
Mosques in California, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Texas, and Florida have faced vocal opposition or have been targeted by hate incidents in recent months.
"Because of the recent targeting of mosques nationwide, we urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders in stepping up patrols near Islamic institutions," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He said that anti-Muslim hate has reached such a disturbing level nationwide that a Maine newspaper was forced to apologize for publishing a photo of end of Ramadan prayers on the 9/11 anniversary and a Connecticut city council was compelled to withdraw an invitation to have a Muslim religious leader offer a pre-meeting prayer.
SEE: Newspaper Apologizes to Those Offended
CAIR-CT: No Muslim Prayers at Hartford Council During September
CAIR recently launched a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign designed to challenge growing Islamophobia in America.
SEE: American Muslims Speak Out: 9/11 Happened to Us All
NY Anti-Mosque Protester Says Kill All Muslims
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization also launched a "Learn, Don`t Burn" educational initiative in response to an extremist Gainesville, Fla., church`s now-canceled plan to burn copies of the Quran, Islam`s holy text, on September 11.
SEE: CAIR Responds to Fla. Book Burning with Educational Campaign
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.