COMMUNITY ALERT: Community Safety Guidlines

Dear Community,

We are still reeling from the devastating terrorist attacks that took place Friday, March 15th in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least 50 of our brothers and sisters lost their lives with more than a dozen others in critical condition. Our thoughts, prayers, and love go out to the victims, their families, and the entire Christchurch community for their tremendous loss.

Islamophobia is on the rise. Every day, we receive reports of anti-Muslim bias and discrimination faced by members of our community. The horrendous attacks in New Zealand were meant to instill fear in the hearts of Muslims everywhere. We commit to continue to stand and speak out against Islamophobia and hate. We will not let those who wish to take our rights, and our lives, win.

As we continue to process this loss, we urge you to remain vigilant in God, your faith, your communities, and each other. We encourage you to reach out for support as needed. There are countless resources available that you can lean on for spiritual, mental, emotional, and legal care. Below we provide some information regarding community safety to better equip you and your community with the knowledge necessary to protect against anti-Muslim bigotry or attacks, and to safeguard your basic legal rights.

We are here to serve you, your families, and our communities. Please contact us if we can be of service.

-Your CAIR-Chicago Team

React To Incidents Of Anti-Muslim Hate

If you believe you have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime or discrimination, you should:

  • Document the incident as accurately and with as much detail as possible.

  • Report the incident to local law enforcement immediately. CAIR-Chicago can help you navigate law enforcement if need be.

Mosque Security Guidelines
Take the following safety measures:

  • Build relationships with the local community of the mosque (ie, local government officials, law enforcement, religious and community groups, neighbors, etc.). Invite them to visit, attend events, and be active partners. Maintain regular contact, address congregational concerns, and engage in broader community.

  • Reach out to your local police department to visit your center, assess current security protocols, and to make suggestions on improving mosque security.

  • Request additional police patrols in the vicinity of your center. Special focus should be made during times of prayer, community activities & programs, and nighttime.

  • Consider hiring private security.

  • Post mosque members at entrances and parking areas during prayer times. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity and persons. Report them to authorities.

  • Report suspicious packages to police. Do not touch them.

  • If you haven't already, install:

    • bright floodlights outside the mosque

    • alarm systems and security cameras

    • secure, solid doors at all entrances

    • compliant burglarproof bars on windows, screens, and large vents

Please reach out to CAIR-Chicago Deputy Director Sufyan Sohel for questions, concerns, or additional resources at (312) 212-1520 or