(EDMOND, OK, 4/12/2015) — The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an incident of vandalism targeting a mosque in that state as a possible hate crime.
CAIR’s national office also called for a similar hate crime probe of vandalism in Maine. Police in Portland, Maine, are investigating graffiti spray-painted on a Muslim business. Surveillance video shows a white male painting the graffiti on a side of the Halaal Market early on Sunday.
SEE: Portland Halaal Market Vandalized with Anti-Muslim Graffiti
Officials at the Islamic Society of Edmond in Edmond, Okla., say pieces of pork were left in the parking lot and at the entrance of the house of worship earlier today. The vandalism reportedly occurred between early morning prayers at 6:30 a.m. and noon when children arrived for their regularly-scheduled Sunday school.
[NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities. CAIR-OK also received a report that another mosque in central Oklahoma had two windows shattered overnight by shots fired from a BB gun.]
SEE: Photos of Vandalism
The vandalism comes as an anti-Islam lecture is scheduled to be held at Edmond’s University of Central Oklahoma sponsored by known Edmond Islamophobe Paul Blair and his organization Reclaiming America for Christ.
SEE: Flyer Islam & Christianity, a Former Muslims Perspective
“All Oklahomans should be concerned when a house of worship in their state is targeted by hate,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “We urge federal authorities to intervene in this case and call on public officials to speak out against the growing Islamophobia that leads to such attacks.”
Soltani said the vandalism is just part of a recent spate of hate incidents nationwide targeting Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim.
Earlier this month, CAIR called on law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting Sudanese refugees in Anchorage, Ala., as a hate crime.
SEE: Police Tell Sudanese the Response to Vandalism Could Have Been Better (Alaska Dispatch News)
Other recent incidents include threats to American mosques, vandalism of schools and threats to Muslim community members.
SEE ALSO: Texas Police Step Up Mosque Security Amid Hate Mail Reports
CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Probe of Threat to Iowa Mosque
Video: CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Probes of New Threats to Ohio Mosques
CAIR: Rhode Island Islamic School Vandalized with Hate Graffiti (Video)
Video: Massachusetts Muslims Threatened with Murder
CAIR is asking community members report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email@example.com and is urging Islamic institutions to implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” A free copy of “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
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.
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com