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Mosques Advised to Amp Up Security for Eid Weekend

The alert is intended to supplement regular security and shouldn't discourage attendance.

Islamic groups across Southern California are responding to an alert for increased security as the month of Ramadan comes to a close this weekend.

The Eid al-Fitr prayer, a three day holiday marking the end of Ramadan, is scheduled for Sunday. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a statement Monday to step up security measures at celebrations and gatherings this weekend.

In the statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad urged local mosques to request extra police patrols and hire security officers who are authorized to carry firearms.

CAIR spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, said the alert is intended to supplement regular security measures at mosques and shouldn't discourage attendance.

"In fact, if you're a family and you want to go to the Eid celebrations, you might feel safer if there's local police presence," he said.


Hooper attended the funeral of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen on Wednesday, and said her death, as well as the stabbing of two Muslims in Oregon on May 26, has added to rising tensions within the Muslim community.


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"We've seen an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Muslim sentiments since the November election, but I think that goes hand-in-hand with the spike in hate targeting all minority groups, not just American Muslims," he said.

The Islamic Center of Southern California will be hosting an Eid celebration at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday, and the OC Register reported that 20,000 Muslims are expected to attend an Eid prayer in Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

The New Horizon school in Los Angeles, an offshoot of The Islamic Center of Southern California, will also host a celebration on Sunday morning.

Though the school is currently out of session, a spokesperson said the school increased security during the school year after receiving threats.

CAIR encourages mosques to build good relationships with local law enforcement so their presence doesn't feel "odd" or "threatening" in a time of crisis, Hooper said.

The Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department have not yet received any requests for increased policing this weekend.

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