(NEW YORK, N.Y., 9/18/14) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on law enforcement authorities and public officials to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism at the Hudson Valley Islamic Community Center in Westchester County in which vandals damaged classrooms, drew obscene pictures and damaged Qurans.
"We urge law enforcement authorities and elected officials to investigate the possibility of a bias motive for this vandalism. This is a matter of public safety because the Hudson Valley Islamic Community Center is not only a place of worship, but also has a school with many young children,” said CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique.
She added: "With the rise in hate crimes in New York, public officials need to implement more community safety measures to ensure individuals and houses of worship are not targeted. We urge members of the New York Muslim community to take reasonable safety precautions and report any bias-motivated incidents to local police and to CAIR."
This past weekend, CAIR-NY urged Muslim community members to exercise caution in public spaces after a Muslim family was allegedly attacked by a former Marine who shouted, “What are you doing in my neighborhood? Get out, Arab,” at a Muslim mother in Islamic attire before striking her husband and trying to grab their son.
CAIR-NY recently called for hate crime charges to be filed against a man who allegedly attacked a Muslim activist and her colleague while shouting anti-Muslim slurs.
In August, CAIR-NY attended a news conference organized by the Sikh community in reaction to an attack in Queens during which a Sikh man was run over in an apparent bias-motivated attack.
In July, CAIR-NY held a news conference at the Islamic Center of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn in reaction to hate incidents, including one in which individuals holding Israeli flags out of a car window screamed at and antagonized worshippers in front of the mosque as worshippers gathered for morning prayers.
In response to previous attacks on American mosques, CAIR published a booklet called "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.
Community leaders may request a free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR-NY is a chapter of 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-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique, 212-870-2002,, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com