(ANAHEIM, C.A. 2/18/2015) –  In light of recent events affecting American Muslims, CAIR-LA is advising the SoCal Muslim community to take all threats seriously and ensure that local law enforcement are contacted in a timely manner to investigate and address any threats. CAIR-LA is here to assist you with vetting the credibility of the threat and the proper means of reporting. Here are some key terms to know and understand:

  • Islamophobia: a close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. Islamophobic acts are directed at Islam or Muslims in general. Anti-Muslim discrimination is directed at a specific individual, institution or group of individuals. 
     
  • Hate Incident: an act such as hate speech made against a person, property or society which is motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin. NOTE: Not all hate incidents may rise to the level of a crime but it is still important to report such incidents since they may be precursors to an eventual crime. 
     

    • Examples include: social media threats (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Email), voicemails, text messages, website attacks/hacks, phone calls, verbal threats, physical threats to the police. (These could be individual threats or harassment, or threats against a mosque, school or organization. They could also be direct and specific threats on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.) Hate incidents also include hate speech such as insults i.e "rag head", "camel jockey" or "terrorist". NOTE: A threat might rise to the level of a crime depending on the nature and specificity of the threat.
       
  • Hate Crime: a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society, which is motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.

     
    • Examples of hate crimes include: vandalizing a mosque, the office of a religious organization, or other place of worship; desecrating a religious symbol or another person’s property with the intent to terrorize; acts of violence against or verbal harassment of a person because of the victim’s race, ethnicity, religion, or other protected status.
  1. Report any suspicious activity or individuals to the local police (dial 911), and to the mosque or organization that it involves.
     
  2. Follow up with CAIR-LA after making any reports to the police so we can document and ensure threats are being investigated. Contact CAIR-LA's Civil Rights Hotline at (714) 776-1177or Report an Incident here
 

CAIR is urging community leaders (i.e. mosque officials, Muslim school administrators, Muslim organization officials) to implement safety measures and increase security efforts outlined in CAIR's booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." 

A free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," may be requested by calling our office at 714 776 1847 or CAIR's website.