CAIR- Michigan seeks arson probe of mosque blaze, offers $1,000 for information
Michigan (IINA) – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), in a statement seen by The International Islamic News Agency (IINA), urges local, state and federal fire investigators and law enforcement authorities to probe a mosque fire in Pittsfield Township as a possible act of arson.
The Islamic Center of Ypsilanti burned down on Saturday yesterday afternoon in what is being termed a “suspicious” fire. “We urge state and federal agencies to use their full resources to investigate this fire to determine a cause and if it is determined to be arson, a possible motive,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “Anyone who has information about this fire, or saw anything suspicious at the time of the blaze, should immediately contact law enforcement authorities.”
He added that CAIR-MI is offering a $1,000 award for any information given to law enforcement agencies that lead to an arrest and conviction of the perpetrator if the fire is ruled to be arson.
Walid also said that suspicions about the fire are heightened due to anti-Muslim community opposition to an Islamic school in the area. A lawsuit over the school was settled late last year.
On Friday, CAIR’s Texas office welcomed the arrest of a man suspected of setting fire to the Islamic Center of Victoria, Texas in January. That suspect is reported to harbor “an apparent hatred of Muslims” and is described as a “right-wing extremist.”
CAIR-Texas is also monitoring the investigation of a fire at a mosque under construction in Travis County. Officials now say they may never know the exact source of that fire, even though arson is one of the several possible causes.
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 8 election.
In this regard, it is noteworthy to mention that, CAIR is asking 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.”
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.
Source: International Islamic News Agency