WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an apparent terror attack on anti-racist protesters at a gathering of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other racists in Charlottesville, Va.
[NOTE: A representative of CAIR's New York chapter joined clergy and faith leaders in Charlottesville to show spiritual opposition to the racist rally. CAIR-NY Board Member Sahar Alsahlani was on hand to offer pastoral care immediately after today's apparent terror attack.]
Hundreds of racists from around the nation attended the "Unite the Right" rally on Saturday, to challenge the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park. One person was killed and at least 26 were injured when a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the racist rally.
Last week, CAIR condemned the racist rally and urged cities nationwide to remove Confederate memorials.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Planned White Supremacist Rally in Virginia, Urges Rejection of Confederate Memorials Nationwide
Earlier today, President Trump blamed "many sides" for the violence between the anti-racist protesters and white supremacists in Charlottesville and failed to specifically repudiate the white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK who organized the "Unite the Right" rally.
SEE: Trump Blames 'Many Sides' for Violence in Charlottesville
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"We condemn this apparent act of domestic terrorism targeting anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and urge all Americans to denounce the racists and Islamophobes brought to that city by the 'Unite the Right' rally.
"Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe today rightly called out the 'white supremacists and the Nazis' -- saying 'go home, you are not wanted. . .shame on you, you pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot' -- something President Trump failed to do in his weak reaction to the terror attack.
"President Trump's reluctance to both denounce the act of terrorism and to call out the white supremacist and racists groups by name constitutes a failure of moral leadership and sends the wrong message to newly-empowered racist groups nationwide."
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio echoed CAIR's views when he tweeted: "Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists"
CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented increase in hate incidents targeting members of minority groups since the election of Donald Trump.
SEE: American Mosques -- and American Muslims -- are Being Targeted for Hate Like Never Before
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR recently launched an app to share critical "know your rights" information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR's civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)