The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

August 7, 2012

Islamic group issues safety advisory after another mosque is targeted


From staff reports

— A Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today has issued a community safety advisory for American mosques following another incident targeting an Islamic house of worship, this time in Rhode Island.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement that Muslims in North Smithfield, R.I., have asked for extra police protection after the sign for Masjid Al-Islam was vandalized early Sunday. That incident followed Monday’s fire that destroyed a Joplin mosque and the deadly shooting attack Sunday on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

"We urge Muslim leaders nationwide to take immediate steps to boost security, particularly in the last ten days of the ongoing fast of Ramadan, when religious activities at mosques reach their peak," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad said recommended security measures, which are based on CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit," include:

Reaching out to local law enforcement authorities to request stepped up patrols in the area of a mosque.

Meeting with elected officials to discuss safety concerns.

Installing video surveillance cameras, alarms and perimeter lighting.

Documenting descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles.

Backing up important records at an offsite location.

Cooperating with local neighborhood watch groups.