CAIR-LA: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MOSQUE VANDALIZED
CAIR-LA calls for law enforcement probe of possible bias motive
(ANAHEIM, CA, 8/12/06) - The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today called on the FBI and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to investigate vandalism at the La Mirada mosque as a possible hate crime.
Mosque President Dr. Rezaur Rahman told CAIR-LA that the vandalism occurred Thursday between 8:30 and 9 p.m. Rahman said two windows of the mosque, which clearly displayed Islamic symbols, were damaged by projectiles, possibly gunshots.
The mosque has been a target of hate incidents in the past. It received written messages such as, “The Muslim religion is a cult and that Mohammed is a terrorist and an outlaw,’’ and, “No future for Muslims in the U.S.A.’‘
“We urge the FBI and other law enforcement agencies working on the case to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “We pray that the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice, regardless of their motive.”
Ayloush said a series of similar incidents has been reported in recent months by Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide. There has been particular concern in the Muslim community following reports of a plot in Britain to bomb airliners traveling to the United States and because of tensions caused by the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
A representative of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told CAIR: “The actions seem to be part of several vandalism cases in the area and the FBI has been contacted and the investigation is continuing.” Since the most recent Middle East crisis began in July, the Sheriff’s Department has increased patrols in the area of the mosque.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.