(SACRAMENTO, CA, 2/14/17) – The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today welcomed an arrest made in the Islamic Center of Davis hate vandalism case. Hate crime charges have been filed against Davis resident Lauren Kirk-Coehlo.
In a statement, CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra said: "CAIR and the American Muslim community thank the Davis Police Department, the FBI and the Yolo County District Attorney's office for their swift investigation and arrest in the case. We also extend our gratitude to the UC Davis and City of Davis community for their tremendous show of support to the Muslim community in the aftermath of the incident."
CAIR-SV offered a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. If law enforcement informs us that a tip was made that led to this arrest, CAIR will honor the reward following a conviction of the suspect. We will await more information from the investigation to determine the bias motive for the vandalism.
In a statement, Islamic Center of Davis President Amr Zedan said: "On behalf of the Islamic Center of Davis and the Muslim community, we would like to thank the Davis and Yolo county communities for all their support and donations as well as our neighbors who gave us flowers and unwavering support. This incident showed the beautiful good will of Americans and that our communities stand united. As a Muslim community we are forgiving and merciful, but we hope that the perpetrator has the chance to reflect upon her actions and the grief she caused to our community."
On the morning of January 22nd, 2017, glass doors were smashed at the Islamic Center of Davis in Davis, California, and bacon was left on a door handle of the house of worship. Surveillance video showed someone who appeared to be a female placing the bacon on the door handle.
[NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities.]
In a January statement CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra said, "The swift apprehension and punishment of those responsible for this act of religious intimidation will send the message that the growing Islamophobia we are witnessing in our nation will not be tolerated or ignored."
CAIR's national headquarters in Washington, D.C., has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8th election. A soon-to-be-published CAIR report on Islamophobia in America is expected to show that 2016 was the worst year on record for incidents in which mosques were targets of bias.
CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-SV's Civil Rights Department at 916-441-6269 or by filing a report at: ca.cair.com/sacval/report-an-incident
CAIR is 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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-SV Outreach & Communications Coordinator Muhammad Saifullah, 916-678-0752, firstname.lastname@example.org