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'Stay vigilant', says Muslim rights organisation in wake of pro-Trump riots

CAIR warned that Trump supporters may carry out Islamophobic attacks [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 January, 2021

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CAIR warned that the threat of white supremacist violence and armed protests leading up to and on Inauguration Day is high and Muslims may be a target.

The US' largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation warned Muslims in the US to remain vigilant, until the end of President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration due to the threat of white supremacist violence.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Wednesday said that the threat posed by potential far-right, white supremacist violence and armed protests in all 50 state capitals leading up to the 20 January inauguration day is high - and Muslims could well be the targets.

According to a report by Yahoo News, the FBI is anticipating possible violence from pro-Trump supporters and have put in place contingency plans in the event of major disturbances.

The report also cited evidence of credible threats related to January 17 at state buildings in Michigan and Minnesota.

Members of the far-right Boogaloo movement say there will be a nationwide "armed march" on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and all 50 state capitals on 17 January.

CAIR fear that Muslim Americans could be the targets of far-right attacks on this day and others on the build-up to Biden's inauguration.

"Due to credible threats of violence in the coming week, we urge all members of the Muslim community to stay extra vigilant and avoid their state capitol buildings and surrounding areas until after the Inauguration of President Biden," said CAIR Research & Advocacy Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz.

"We also encourage faith leaders to review and enhance the security of houses of worship, particularly those located in state capitals."

He urged mosques and other Islamic institutions to take measures outlined in CAIR’s “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” booklet. Advice offered in CAIR’s security publication is applicable to all institutions, regardless of organizational mission.

Last week, angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol Wednesday, marching through the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags, as well as other banners associated with the far-right.

The riot forced a halt to congressional deliberations over challenges to Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building, not long after a huge rally near the White House, while Trump was accused of egging on crowds to march on Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers had convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results but protests erupted outside the Capitol and government office buildings were being evacuated.

Trump faces possible impeachment on charges of incitement.

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