MPAC Commends Law Enforcement, Prays for Boston As Events Unfold

April 19, 2013

MPAC this morning expressed its shock and disbelief over the news that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are two Chechen brothers who were from the Boston community. Our prayers are with the people of Boston as they remain indoors while police track the second suspect.

MPAC commends law enforcement agencies for their diligence in quickly apprehending the perpetrators and working around the clock to keep Boston safe. We will continue to monitor the situation and meet with law enforcement and civic leaders as more information comes to light.

“As we come to terms with the actions of this past week, we must stand together in the face of this evil and unfathomable act,” said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. “Terrorism is a violation of human decency and all human values. We pray for the safety of all Bostonians and for our nation as we watch events unfold.”

This morning, Legislative and Policy Analyst Hoda Elshishtawy joined other Muslim leaders for a joint press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, to comment on the ongoing developments in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Earlier this week, MPAC along with other interfaith, law enforcement and civic leaders issued a joint statement of solidarity calling for unity and partnership in combating terrorism. The statement read, in part:

“Terrorism is a remnant of evil in our world. It oppresses with darkness, whereas our faiths tell us to shine light. Our faiths tell us to work after we gain spiritual direction to do what is defined by justice and compassion.”

As we continue to learn more details about the attacks, we urge media professionals to continue to exercise restraint as we learn more about the identity and motivations of the suspects.

We provide the following tips to help ensure the safety and well-being of individuals and communities.

Security Tips for Places of Worship

Please reach out to MPAC, local law enforcement or the FBI to report any suspicious activity.

Mosque Safety

  • If you see something or someone unfamiliar, do not hesitate to contact the leaders of your community, or go straight to your local law enforcement. Local law enforcement agencies are set up to serve and protect communities and, as such, should be utilized as an effective tool of defense.
  • Use judgment, critical thinking skills and act judiciously. For instance, if unfamiliar people appear and engage in suspicious behavior around the mosque, report it to authorities.
  • Create a security checklist so that members of the mosque are aware of protocols should a security threat arise. Community leaders should create a checklist of action items, the point person for contacting the authorities and an evacuation plan and share them with community members proactively.
  • Reach out to local law enforcement, so that mutual trust is built between your community and the authorities. In the event any type of attack should occur against a member of the community or the mosque, having good relations with local law enforcement will prove essential.
  • Remember that communication is key. Creating a response plan to an attack or post-incident procedures is important. Communication before, during and after an incident serves as a control feature to ensure safety until law enforcement or the appropriate authorities are contacted.

Dealing with Hate Incidents and/or Crimes

  • If you experience a hate crime or incident, contact the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (202) 514-4609
  • In cases of bullying or harassment in your child’s school, contact the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Services (202) 305-2935.

Additionally, CRS works with local communities to conduct training on mediation and reconciliation services.

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