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CAIR Seeks Protection for U.S. Islamic Institutions After ‘Militia’ Plan to Attack Kansas Mosque

chapter logos kansas(WASHINGTON, D.C. 10/14/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on state and federal law enforcement authorities nationwide to offer stepped-up protection for mosques and other Islamic institutions following the arrest of three “militia” members who allegedly planned to attack a Kansas mosque.

Federal authorities today announced charges against three people arrested in connection with “a major investigation.” CBS Evening News tweeted this afternoon: “Officials confirm the arrest of three militia planning to attack housing complex & mosque in Garden City, Kansas.”

SEE: ‘Major Investigation’ May Be Plot Against Mosque, Report Says

“Given this alleged plan to attack a Kansas mosque, the two other hate incidents reported today against Islamic institutions in Michigan and New Jersey, and the overall spike in anti-mosque incidents nationwide, state and federal authorities should offer stepped-up protection to local communities,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We ask our nation’s political leaders, and particularly political candidates, to reject the growing Islamophobia in our nation.”

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CAIR Seeks Probe of Bias Motive for Arson Targeting Missouri Mosque

chapter logos kansas(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/25/16) - The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for an apparent arson attack on a mosque under construction in that state.

Officials with the Islamic Center of Northland in Kansas City, Mo., say they discovered burns on the interior of the mosque Saturday morning when they arrived for a meeting. Kansas City police report finding two burned bottles inside the mosque site.

SEE: Arson Suspected at Northland Mosque Under Construction

“Given the recent spike in attacks on mosque nationwide, and the rising Islamophobia fueled by anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential campaign, we urge law enforcement officials to investigate a possible bias motive for this incident,” said CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed.

He noted that CAIR recently reported that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents, with a total of 55 cases recorded as of mid-September. Last year there were a total of 79 recorded anti-mosque cases.

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Kansas sheriff won't partner on training by John Guandolo

KS-sheriff-repBy Tim Potter, The Wichita Eagle

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office said Friday that it has decided not to partner with a citizens group sponsoring an anti-terrorism training session planned for next week, saying it has become too controversial.

The Sheriff's Office said in a news release issued at 5 p.m. that it had heard from both supporters and opponents of former FBI agent John Guandolo and that the controversy had overshadowed the intent of the training.

Critics of Guandolo's training say it gives a distorted and biased view of Islam that casts all Muslims as suspects.

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Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said the office's withdrawal of sponsorship is "really good news. The problem is him training law enforcement officers."

Moussa Elbayoumy, Lawrence-based chairman of CAIR Kansas, said the group doesn't want any law enforcement officer "to be subjected to that kind of rhetoric and misinformation."

Earlier Friday afternoon, Elbayoumy and a local Muslim leader said they had been trying to meet with Easter about their concerns over the training.

On Wednesday, the national Muslim group asked the Sheriff's Office to cancel the training program by Guandolo because the group views him as having a view that puts all Muslims under suspicion of being connected to terrorism. The Sheriff's Office had said it was hosting Guandolo.

Also on Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office said it was not canceling the program and that it viewed Guandolo's training as a way to help officers distinguish between extremists and non-extremists.

The Muslim leaders compared hosting Guandolo to sponsoring a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Hussam Madi, spokesman for the Islamic Society of Wichita, which he said is probably the largest Muslim organization in the city, said he wants law enforcement to learn about different cultures and investigative strategies "but not from someone who ... brings hateful views" and treats Muslims as "guilty till proven innocent." (Read the full article)

[Background on John Guandolo]