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Two Teens Busted for Mosque Cross Burning

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  • ummyakoub
    TWO TEENS ARRESTED IN MOSQUE CROSS BURNING CASE (WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/1/03) - Two teenagers have been arrested for allegedly burning a cross outside a Maryland
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2003
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      (WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/1/03) - Two teenagers have been arrested for
      allegedly burning a cross outside a Maryland Islamic school and
      mosque. The arrests were announced this afternoon at a news
      conference in Landover Hills, Md., attended by local and national law
      enforcement officials and representatives of the Muslim community.

      Authorities say the 17-years-olds, whose names are being withheld
      because they are juveniles, have been charged with religious and
      ethnic crime, defacing property and burning a cross or other
      religious symbol in violation of Maryland's hate crime statutes. If
      convicted the suspects could face up to three years in prison and a
      fine. The cross burning occurred in the early morning hours of July
      24th outside the Dar-us-Salaam mosque and Al-Huda school in College
      Park, Md.

      "We will work with juvenile authorities not only to help prosecute
      this case, but also to assist in the rehabilitation of these young
      people so they may live lives free of hatred and prejudice," said
      Seyed Rizwan Mowlana, executive director of the Council on American-
      Islamic Relation's Maryland office (CAIR-Maryland). He suggested that
      if convicted and sentenced to community service, the teens could be
      assigned to a mosque or Islamic school.

      "We thank all the law enforcement agencies involved in this case,
      particularly the FBI and the Prince George's County police and fire
      departments, for moving so swiftly to bring the alleged perpetrators
      to justice," said Mowlana. He also thanked the ACLU, Progressive
      Maryland, the NAACP, as well as the state and national public
      officials who supported the Muslim community following the incident.

      At a news conference on the day of the incident, CAIR announced a
      $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of
      the perpetrators. At least one lead resulted from that reward offer.

      Since the beginning of this year, CAIR has received reports of
      physical assaults against Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim in
      California, Georgia, New Jersey, South Carolina and other states. One
      incident in Yorba Linda, Calif., left a Muslim teenager badly beaten
      by a group that allegedly included white supremacists. In Arizona, a
      Sikh man who may have been mistaken for an Arab was shot in Phoenix.
      In Illinois, an explosive device destroyed a Muslim family's van. And
      just last month, a New Bedford, Mass., pizza delivery man was
      kidnapped, beaten and stabbed, apparently because his attackers
      thought he was Muslim. Two weeks ago, two Pakistani students were
      shot to death in the same county as the cross-burning. FBI
      investigators are looking into the incident to determine if bias was
      a motive.

      CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is
      headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 16 regional offices
      nationwide and in Canada.
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