FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR: Fla. Muslim Receives White Powder in Mail
Muslim civil rights group seeks FBI hate crime investigation
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/8/10) -- The Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR) today called for an FBI hate crime investigation
after a Florida Muslim who worships at a recently-bombed Jacksonville
mosque received suspicious white powder, initially suspected to be
anthrax, in a letter sent to his home on Monday.
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CAIR said the Muslim, a convert to Islam known for engaging in
religious debate, was taken to the hospital for precautionary testing.
The white powder was later found not to be a biological threat.
SEE: Islamic Leader Finds White Powder in His Mail (Video)
"Whenever a person known publically for their religious views is
allegedly targeted in this way, federal law enforcement authorities
should investigate the incident as a possible hate crime," said CAIR
National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper noted that Attorney General Eric Holder recently vowed to
prosecute hate crimes targeting American Muslims. In a speech on
Friday to an Arab-American group, Holder said the FBI is investigating
last month's bomb attack on a Jacksonville, Florida, mosque. The
Muslim who received the white powder in the mail worships at that
SEE: Holder Vows to Arab Americans to Prosecute Hate Crimes (CNN)
CAIR, which offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the
arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the May bombing, applauded
the quick response of law enforcement agencies but questioned the
silence of public officials and national media about the incident.
SEE: South Florida Group Offers Reward in Mosque Explosion
Fla. Mosque Attack Called Terrorism
FBI Investigating Mosque Pipe-Bombing as Possible Domestic Terrorism
CAIR attributed both incidents to a "growing atmosphere of anti-Muslim
sentiment" nationwide and particularly in Florida.
SEE: CAIR Asks GOP to Repudiate Racist, Anti-Muslim Ads
Muslim Appointed to Fla. Commission Despite Smears
Recent anti-Muslim incidents have included a national leader of the
Tea Party claiming that Muslims worship a "monkey-god," a Texas talk
show host advocating bombing a proposed New York City mosque and
protesters at a rally against that mosque harassing Christian Arabs
mistaken for Muslims.
SEE: Tea Party Leader Says Muslims Worship 'Monkey-God'
Hear Michael Berry's Call to Violence
On This Ground, Zero Tolerance (Bergen Record)
American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to review
guidelines on security procedures contained in CAIR's "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.
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