The Texas chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) is asking the FBI to investigate an attempted arson at a southwest side mosque as a hate crime.
Media reports say at least three men in masks broke a window at the Madrasah Islamiah mosque near Bellaire Boulevard and the Southwest Freeway early Saturday and poured gasoline on some rugs, igniting a small fire that was put out before it could spread.
A CAIR official said the Houston incident is one of a string of arson attempts this year involving mosques in Oregon, Tennessee and Michigan.
"The number of recent incidents targeting American Muslims points to a disturbing nationwide trend that needs to be addressed by political and religious leaders at the national level," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.
CAIR said "a number of other hate incidents targeting American Muslims, those perceived to be Muslim and Muslim institutions have occurred in the days since the death of Osama bin Laden," including defacing cars at mosques and, in Louisiana, leaving pork at a mosque.
Their list includes the local teacher who taunted a Muslim student after Bin Laden's death:
Other recent anti-Muslim incidents reported to CAIR following the death of Osama bin Laden include hate vandalism of a Maine mosque, Nazi and KKK graffiti sprayed on the home of a Muslim family in Minnesota, the humiliation of a Texas Muslim student by a teacher, and a hate sign posted near a New York mosque.
HFD says "At this point, investigators have not determined if there was a particular motive for the fire. The FBI and ATF have been informed about this fire and are monitoring the investigation, however they are not actively involved in the investigation."
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