November 4th, 2009 19:33 EST
FBI Probe of N.C. Mosque Vandalism
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on local law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate the possibility of a bias motive for vandalism of a Durham, N.C., mosque.
An official of the Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman mosque, the largest mosque in Durham, told CAIR that two reinforced glass doors on the exterior of the building were smashed sometime late Sunday or early Monday, as were a number of other doors and windows in the facility. The vandals also stole computers and printers.
Worshipers first noticed the vandalism when they arrived for morning prayers at the mosque on Monday.
SEE: Durham Mosque is Vandalized (News & Observer)
This was reportedly the third incident of vandalism targeting the mosque. Local police had asked mosque officials to alert them to any incidents that may be related to recent arrests of area Muslims on terrorism charges.
Because of the severity of the damage to the mosque, the previous incidents of vandalism and the possibility of backlash from the recent arrests of local Muslims on terror-related charges, we believe it is only prudent to investigate a possible bias motive in this case, " said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He noted that CAIR recently called on the FBI to investigate the bias-motivated vandalism of a Houston, Texas, mosque in which anti-Islamic remarks were scrawled on the walls of the facility.
SEE: Southwest Houston Mosque Defaced
Hooper also said CAIR last month called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism of the home of a Muslim woman in California who was running for elected office.
SEE: Local Muslim Candidate`s Home Vandalized
Also in October, CAIR`s New York office welcomed hate crime charges brought against a man who allegedly used racial slurs during an attack in Queens, N.Y., on a Long Island Muslim woman.
SEE: Racist Slurs Used During Attack on NY Muslim
In September, CAIR expressed concern about a spike in reports of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide during or just prior to the month of Ramadan.
SEE: CAIR Concerned by `Spike` in Anti-Muslim Incidents in Ramadan
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization is urging American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
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.