CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Fire at Pa. Business Tagged with 'Iran’
WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/11/12 -- The Pittsburgh chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Pittsburgh) today called on the FBI to investigate as a hate crime a fire at an Oriental rug store in McKees Rocks, Pa., that caused an estimated $1 million in damage.
Over the weekend, the words “Iran” and “terrorist” were found spray-painted on the side of the business, which is owned by an Iranian American.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but the Allegheny County fire marshal said that a hate crime may have been committed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has joined the investigation.
SEE: ATF Probes 5-Alarm Fire at Antique Rug Business (WTAE)
Valuables Destroyed In McKees Rocks Fire, Officials Seek Answers
CAIR said this fire comes after a spike in attacks nationwide that targeted American Muslim institutions.
Last week, hate crimes charges were filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, against Randolph Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Ind., for the September 30 arson attack on the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. Linn was charged with intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying religious real property because of the religious character of that property and with using fire and explosives to commit a felony.
FBI: Hate Crimes Charges Filed Against Indiana Man for Religiously Motivated Attack on the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo
In September, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate hate vandalism at mosques in Virginia and New York. In August, CAIR asked authorities to investigate a suspicious fire at a mosque in Minnesota.
CAIR: Burned Mosque to be Constructed Inside Joplin City Limits
CAIR Report: Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012
CAIR: Anti-Muslim Attacks Continue
Also last month, CAIR submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.
SEE: CAIR's Written Testimony to Senate Hearing
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Pittsburgh Spokesperson Safdar Khwaja, 412-512-3034, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org