(Oklahoma City, OK, 3/15/2019) — The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will host a press conference along with Interfaith partners at 11:30 AM CST to respond to massacres at mosques in Christchurch, NZ, which left 49 dead.
WHAT: CAIR-OK News Conference About Terror Attacks on New Zealand Mosques
WHEN: 11:30AM CST
WHERE: CAIR-OK Office, 3000 United Founders Blvd., Suite 226, Oklahoma City, OK
CONTACT: CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, firstname.lastname@example.org
SEE: New Zealand mosques: Several dead after shootings in Christchurch
“We are horrified to see such violence at any place of worship anywhere in the world, and we are grieving with our brothers and sisters who have suffered under such violence,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “Although we don’t believe there are active threats in U.S. locations, we encourage our community to remain vigilant and to contact law enforcement immediately if there are signs of a threat.”
A man who claimed responsibility for the attacks left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the attack was carried out “by an extremist right-wing violent terrorist” and media reports indicate that the manifesto posted before the attack includes anti-Muslim rhetoric.
American mosques and houses of worship have been increasingly under attack in recent years. The Council on American-Islamic Relations National Chapter, which tracks anti-Muslim bias incidents across the country, found a 17 percent increase in hate crimes, including attacks at Islamic centers and houses of worship, in 2017 data compared with previous years. The report also included 144 anti-mosque incidents in 2017, including hate crimes, intimidation, and harassment as well as damage to property.
SEE: CAIR National 2018 Civil Rights Report
In Oklahoma, mosques and Islamic centers have experienced attacks and vandalism, including a pig carcass dumped at the Islamic Center of Lawton; bacon and other pork products dropped at the Islamic Center of Edmond; and bomb threats and vandalism at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. This latest attack also follows a violent assault on a Muslim woman in Dallas, TX, where Oklahoma resident Jenan Ayesh was physically assaulted and had her headscarf pulled off her head.
SEE: Authorities investigating possible hate crime after pig carcass discovered at Lawton mosque
SEE: Muslim woman discusses Dallas attack
CAIR-OK is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.