The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) on March 10 took part in a news conference with local and federal law enforcement authorities to announce an arrest in the case of a mosque in that state that was vandalised last August with a brick and hate signs. Signs left last August at the Madera, Calif., Islamic Centre stated “No Temple for the God of terrorism at Ground Zero. ANB,” “Wake up America, the Enemy is here. ANB” and “American Nationalist Brotherhood.” The first message was an apparent reference to the planned Park51 Islamic community centre in Lower Manhattan. The suspect, Donny Eugene Mower, is also believed to have carried out the attempted firebombing of the Planned Parenthood building in Madera on September 2, 2010.
“We welcome this important arrest and thank all the law enforcement agencies that took part in the investigation,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, who spoke at the news conference. “Our nation’s leaders need to speak out against the rising level of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society that apparently led to this hate crime.”
Elkarra said agencies involved in the investigation included the local sheriff’s department, the FBI, the California Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He noted that CAIR-SV recently offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who gunned down two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, Calif. One of the men died at the scene of the shooting, while the other remains hospitalised. Sikh men in beards and turbans are often targeted for discrimination by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.