‘ACID BOMB’ THROWN NEAR WORSHIPERS AT AZ MOSQUE
Apparent targets include imam threatened for suing US Airways for bias
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/8/07) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that an “acid bomb” was thrown near worshipers outside an Arizona mosque early Monday morning. CAIR is calling on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a possible bias-motivated attack.
According to eyewitnesses and local police (case# 07-92489), a container of acid and a reactant was thrown out of a car window and landed near an imam (Islamic religious leader) and another mosque official who were standing outside the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona in Glendale, Ariz., at about 1 a.m. on August 6. The plastic bottle landed within 20-25 feet of the apparent targets, who reported a chemical smell after the container exploded. No one was injured in the attack.
One of the two men outside the mosque was an imam who had recently been threatened because he is party to a discrimination lawsuit against US Airways over an incident last fall in Minnesota.
A Glendale police official told CAIR that his department is giving the investigation a “high priority” and that they are not ruling out a bias motive. Arizona does not have a hate crimes statute, but a bias motive can be used to obtain a longer sentence after a conviction.
“We appreciate the professional response of local law enforcement authorities and urge the FBI to add its resources to the investigation,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper is urging Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide to review security procedures using advice contained in CAIR’s “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.