Friday, July 07, 2006

Muslim group decries desecration of mosque

LEWISTON, Maine -- An Islamic civil liberties group is decrying an episode in Lewiston in which a man threw a pig's head into a mosque.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for stepped up outreach by Maine's Muslim community to educate people about their faith to promote greater understanding.
The incident happened Monday night at the Lewiston-Auburn Islamic Center. Police arrested 33-year-old Brent Matthews of Lewiston, who told police it was a "joke." He's charged with the misdemeanor crime of desecrating a church.
Muslims are prohibited from eating pork, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations says bigots often use pork products to attack or insult Muslims.
Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper says outreach is important. He says anti-Islam prejudice decreases when people get to know ordinary Muslims.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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