CAIR-Chicago urges Muslim community leaders to consider instituting additional safety measures in response to hate rallies by possibly armed anti-Muslim extremists targeting mosques nationwide on October 9-10.
Media reports and monitoring of anti-Muslim hate sites indicate that a small group of anti-Muslim extremists with a history of violent rhetoric are attempting to organize hate rallies outside a number of mosques across the nation on October 9-10.
Organizers of the hate rallies have indicated that participants in states with open carry laws may be armed and that provocations such as the use of live pigs and Quran desecration may occur.
The anti-Islam rallies come at a time of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community.
Many of these planned rallies may not take place, or they may consist of only a handful of people shouting slurs at worshipers. But given the recent endorsement of Islamophobia by national public figures, it would only be prudent for mosque and community leaders to prepare for any eventuality.
CAIR-Chicago joined a conference call Tuesday, October 6, with representatives from the DHS, DoJ, and FBI, as well as many others from law enforcement and Muslim communities with a strong presence of local Chicago leaders.
The protest organizers have listed over 20 locations where they hope to hold protests which can be found on this map. So far none have been reported as plan in the Chicago area though we strongly advise community members to stay vigilant. The closest listed protest in Racine, WI, has been reportedly canceled. Protests have been organized through Facebook and we encourage community members to join CAIR-Chicago in monitoring social media. Many event pages for these protests can be found here.
In the event of a hate crime or threat of violence immediately call 9-1-1.
More information can be found in the articles linked here:
CAIR-Chicago recommends that community leaders immediately:
- Alert local law enforcement authorities to the possibility of a hate rally outside the mosque and request advice about the best way to protect worshipers against possibly armed protesters.
- Request a stepped up police presence on October 9 (Jummah) and on October 10, the day of the nationwide hate rallies. (For a fee, many local police departments will provide officers to be present at a facility during services.)
- Inform community members about the issue and urge them not to be provoked by any hate rhetoric or actions. (Do not engage in a debate or become angry; you do not want to escalate the situation.)
- Ask local elected and public officials to issue statements condemning this campaign of religious intimidation.
- Ask local interfaith partners, police and officials to be present at the mosque as a show of support.
- Prepare signs rejecting hate speech and promoting mutual understanding and religious diversity to be used in any counter-protest.
- Take video of the entire hate protest. Anyone taking video of the hate rally should not get too close to or interact with the participants.
- Immediately report any threatening or potentially-violent actions by the hate rally participants to police.
- In the event of any imminent threat of violence call 911 immediately, other incidents should be reported to police and to CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Department at 312-212-1520 or on our website.
- Consider scheduling a town hall meeting to discuss the issue of growing Islamophobia and the need for community peace building.
Community leaders are also being asked to implement long-term safety measures outlined in CAIR’s booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.