FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR Urges Increased Vigilance After Calif. Mosque
Threatened with Shooting Spree
(SANTA CLARA, CA, 12/14/12) -- The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called for increased community vigilance after a man reportedly entered a mosque in Fremont, Calif., claimed he had a gun, and threatened to kill everyone inside the house of worship.
CAIR-SFBA also urged local law enforcement to ensure that the incident is thoroughly investigated and for local elected officials to unequivocally condemn bigotry and Islamophobia.
"We believe the people of Fremont, who appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their city, will see this for what it is: an unfortunate act of hate," said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo. "It is important to connect the dots between this alleged incident and the constant tide of hate rhetoric and Islamophobia that we are seeing across the country."
"It is critical for members of this mosque and others in the community to be vigilant, as trends demonstrate that these incidents are continuing to occur nationwide," said Billoo.
She pointed to today's launch of the "MyJihad" campaign in Chicago as an opportunity to challenge anti-Muslim hate and misinformation. MyJihad is an independent national public education campaign, initiated by CAIR's Chicago chapter, which seeks to share the proper meaning of Jihad as believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims.
Because of similar hate incidents across the country, Billoo urged mosques and houses of worship of all faiths to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
She said CAIR's San Antonio chapter recently called on federal law enforcement authorities to consider bringing charges against a man arrested for vowing to "shoot as many people as possible" at a local mosque.