CAIR Seeks Probe of Bias Motive for Mass. Mosque Arson
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/2/11) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for an arson attack on a Massachusetts mosque.
A 33-year-old man appeared in court yesterday for allegedly setting fire to the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester Tuesday night. Joseph Brignola was arraigned on charges of burning a building and injury to a church or synagogue.
"Given recent hate incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions nationwide, it is only prudent to investigate a possible bias motive in this case," said CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi. "Appropriate hate crime charges should be considered if a bias motive is indicated."
He noted that in the past year, arsonists have also targeted mosques or mosque construction sites in Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, California, and Michigan. In May of last year, a bomb exploded at a Florida mosque.
Dhaouadi said authorities recently announced that an April 23 fire at a Stockton, Calif., mosque was arson. CAIR’s Sacramento Valley chapter is asking that a bias motive for that fire be investigated.
In March, local and federal law enforcement authorities announced an arrest in the case of a Madera, Calif., mosque that was vandalized last August with a brick and hate signs.
A number of other hate incidents targeting American Muslims, those perceived to be Muslim and Muslim institutions have occurred in the days since the death of Osama bin laden.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is urging members of the Muslim community to review security procedures using advice contained in its "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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CONTACT: CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi, 860-514-8038, E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications DirectorIbrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org