(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 10/30/23) – The Philadelphia chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a thorough investigation after an Upper Darby mosque member was killed in an apparent carjacking incident at the mosque’s parking lot. CAIR-Philadelphia also called all Pennsylvania mosques to increase security measures.
The incident took place on October 29 evening at the Upper Darby Islamic Center, also known as Masjid Al-Madinah, in Delaware County. According to initial reports, a community member was targeted in the reported carjacking which left the community member dead.
In a statement, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Tekelioglu said:
“The Muslim community of the Philadelphia region has been going through an atmosphere of fear and anxiety due to recent dehumanization of Muslims. This tragic incident taking place at a mosque has caused immense communal concern. We send our prayers to the families of our community members and to Masjid Al-Madinah, a peaceful, vibrant and growing community center. We ask that Upper Darby Police and the Delaware County District Attorney’s office to show utmost care in investigating this incident. Our community needs a swift and clear understanding of the motives.”
Tekelioglu also called on area mosques to increase security measures. An increasing number of Pennsylvania mosques have shown interest in securing grants from Pennsylvania state and the Federal government that help with mosque security. He said CAIR-Philadelphia assisted over 15 mosques obtain these grants in the recent years.
CAIR urges religious institutions to apply for Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which “provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations.”
The civil rights group is also urging religious institutions nationwide to take extra security precautions by using advice offered in CAIR’s booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The advice in the booklet is applicable to institutions of all faiths.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director, Ahmet Tekelioglu, PhD, email@example.com; 617-401-5397