FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR-NY Urges Person Who Left 'Jesus' Painting at Mosque to Learn About Islamic Beliefs
(NEW YORK, N.Y., 7/9/2017) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on a person or persons who left a painting of Jesus on the cross at a mosque in that state to learn what Muslims actually believe.
CAIR-NY said the painting was found Friday on a fence of the Hillside Islamic Center in North New Hyde Park. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
SEE: Jesus Painting Left on Islamic Center Investigated as Hate Crime
SEE: Painting of Jesus Christ on a Cross Hung From Islamic Center Fence
In a statement, CAIR-NY said:
"Bias may have motivated this incident, but it could serve as a teaching moment for the perpetrator and for the community if it leads to greater understanding of the love Muslims have for Jesus, peace be upon him. "The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states, 'Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.' (3:45)
"Other verses in the Quran state that Jesus was strengthened with the 'Holy Spirit' (2:87) and is a 'sign for the whole world.' (21:91) His virgin birth was confirmed when Mary asked: 'How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?' (3:47)
"In the Quran, Jesus is shown speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel (Injeel) and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)
"The spiritual unity of the Abrahamic faiths is confirmed in the Quran when God states: 'Say ye: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.' (2:136)
"Islam's Prophet Muhammad also said: 'Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.'
"The spiritual legacy of Jesus (peace be upon him) should be a unifying factor for Muslims and Christians, not a source of division or bigotry."
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR's national office has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
SEE: CAIR-Sacramento Thanks Law Enforcement for Prompt Action on Quran Desecration Incidents
CAIR is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety."
A hard copy of the booklet may be requested through CAIR's website at: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
It may also be viewed at: http://www.cair.com/images/publications/CAIR_Mosque_Safety_Guide.pdf
CAIR-NY recently released a report showing a 560 percent increase in 2016 anti-Muslim incidents in New York compared to the previous year. The same report showed that more than half of 2016 anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York occurred in the last 7 and a half weeks of the year, following Donald Trump's election as President.
Muslim community members are urged to report any bias incidents to police and to the organization. Contact CAIR-NY by calling (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
The Washington-based civil rights organization recently launched an app to share critical "know your rights" information and simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging Muslims to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR's civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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