MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR-Florida and the Islamic Community Center of Gainesville Condemn Hateful Vandalism in the worship center: Call on Gainesville Police and Alachua County Sheriff to Investigate as a Hate Crime – CAIR Florida
Thursday, 22 February 2024

MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR-Florida and the Islamic Community Center of Gainesville Condemn Hateful Vandalism in the worship center: Call on Gainesville Police and Alachua County Sheriff to Investigate as a Hate Crime

BREAKING NEWS: 

CAIR-Florida, Islamic Community Center of Gainesville Call for Hate Crime Probe of Vandalism Targeting Worship Center 

(MIAMI, FL, 1/5/2024) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the state’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and the Islamic Community Center of Gainesville (ICCG) today condemned the vandalism on the Center’s place of worship and called on law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

CAIR-Florida is also urging the local Muslim community and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions by using advice offered in CAIR’s booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” On Thursday Jan. 4, during early morning hours, an unknown person or persons shattered windows, leaving the Islamic Center’s sacred space covered in broken glass, and the Center’s community in shock. CAIR-Florida and the Islamic Community Center of Gainesville call on the Gainesville Police and the Alachua County Sheriff Office to conduct a full investigation into a possible bias motive of those responsible for the hate vandalism.

CAIR-Florida attorney Omar Saleh stated: “Now more than ever, places of worship are being targeted by people acting out of hate. Across the nation we are hearing of incidents ranging from mosque vandalism less than 24 hours ago to the murder of an Imam in New Jersey 72 hours ago.”

Attorney Saleh added: “The Florida Muslim Community expects law enforcement to protect all faiths and places of worship equally.”

The ICCG’s Board stated: “We urge the City of Gainesville’s leaders to take immediate and decisive steps to ensure the safety and security of the Muslim minority in our city. This incident is not just an attack on a building but on the values of diversity and tolerance. We request enhanced protection and vigilance to prevent such hateful actions. “

CAIR recently released updated civil rights data showing that it has continued to receive a “staggering” increase in complaints of anti-Muslim or anti-Arab bias.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.         

   

END

CONTACT: CAIR- FL Media & Outreach Director Wilfredo A. Ruiz, 305-503-6749, [email protected]

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