CAIR Seeks Probes of Bias Motives for N.Y. and Ore. Incidents New York Muslim reportedly beaten, bomb scare at Oregon Muslims' home
(Washington, D.C., 5/25/10) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate possible bias motives in two recent incidents involving Muslims in New York and Oregon.
CAIR's New York chapter (CAIR-NY) has asked the NYPD Hate Crimes Taskforce to investigate a possible bias motive in the brutal beating of a Muslim man in East New Yorkon Saturday. According to media reports, the 57-year-old man of Bangladeshi origin was jumped by four assailants who beat but did not rob him. The man's daughter and nephew reported that the attackers referred to his being Muslim at the start of the assault.
"Attacks motivated by racial or religious animosity are directed at entire communities," said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. "Such incidents should be investigated from all angles to serve as both a deterrent and repudiation of intolerance."
CAIR also called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for a bomb scare at a Muslim family's home under construction in Oregon.
According to news reports, a 30-year-old Muslim man of Afghan origin was watching the house in Tigard, Ore., while his parents were away. He was woken Sunday night by the smell of gasoline and the sounds of intruders, who ran when the man yelled. He called 911 when he found the floors of the home covered in gasoline and a ticking device in one room. The bomb squad said the device was a timer with a sparking mechanism, not an explosive device.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office said it is not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime, although the motive is not clear.
"Given recent events and the rise in anti-Islam rhetoric nationwide, we urge the FBI to add its resources to those of local and state authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this troubling incident," said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor.
He noted that earlier this month, a bomb exploded outside a Florida mosque. Despite a$20,000 reward offered by CAIR, the FBI and other organizations, no perpetrator has yet been identified.
CAIR is urging American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
Saylor said extremist anti-Islam rhetoric is unfortunately moving to the mainstream without a significant response from America's religious and political leaders.
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.