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US Muslim leaders organize in response to bias, harassment

Rabiah Ahmed of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and other officials unveiled the plans Monday in Washington.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Rabiah Ahmed of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and other officials unveiled the plans Monday in Washington.

WASHINGTON — American Muslim leaders are planning voter registration drives and open-house days at mosques to fight a rise in anti-Muslim harassment.

US Muslim leaders also pledged to counter recruitment efforts by extremists, such as those conducted by the Islamic State.

The plans were announced Monday in Washington, one day after an emergency summit on anti-Muslim bias that drew about 100 leaders from across the country.

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Among the participants were the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Organizers say they will work with civil rights and interfaith groups to try to defeat politicians with bigoted views.

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The recent backlash against Muslims follows Islamic extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., and remarks by Donald Trump and other presidential candidates.

In Richmond, Calif., over the weekend, bomb squad crews safely detonated a possible explosive device at a house and arrested an occupant in connection with threats against Muslim people.

Police received a tip that a man had said he wanted to harm Muslim community members, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Detectives said the man might have made an explosive device at his home.

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Authorities evacuated nearby houses Sunday before serving a search warrant at the man’s house and destroying the suspected device.

Police said the man was arrested without incident. His name and age were not released.

Associated Press