Monday, March 29, 2010

Discrimination: Civil rights group calls for more information on threats to Muslims

A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization has called on federal law enforcement authorities to release more information about possible threats of violence against American Muslims by a militia group raided this weekend in several states.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said at least seven members of a Christian militia group have been arrested in FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force raids and investigations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. According to media reports, the "Hutaree" militia was targeted after its members made threats of violence against Islamic organizations.

SEE: Seven Arrested in FBI Raids Linked to Christian Militia Group (Detroit News)

FBI Arrests 7 with Ties to Christian Militia (CBS)

"Given the recent sharp spike CAIR offices nationwide have observed in anti-Islam rhetoric, it would not be surprising that an extremist group would seek to turn that bigoted rhetoric into violent actions," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "At this stage, we are seeking more information about possible threats to American Muslim organizations and are urging the offices of CAIR and other Islamic institutions nationwide to take appropriate security precautions."

He added that just last week, CAIR called on Republican leaders to repudiate racist taunts by tea party opponents of health care reform targeting a Muslim congressman and another African-American lawmaker on Capitol Hill.

SEE: Muslim Congressman Called 'N**ger' by Tea Party Protesters

Awad also noted that CAIR recently expressed concern about the reported rise in the number of anti-government and anti-immigrant extremist groups during the past year.

NOTE: Charges are expected to be unsealed in federal court in Detroit on Monday. If the reported threats to Islamic organizations are confirmed, CAIR will hold a news conference on the issue later on Monday in Washington, D.C.

Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

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