Leaders of the Frederick Muslim community in Maryland are asking for a taxpayer-funded police presence at the mosque during Friday afternoon prayers, Ramadan and every other religious event it deems important, as one of several provisions in the Islamic Society of Frederick’s new crisis management plan.
Frederick News Post The plan was developed after Jewish cemeteries were vandalized earlier this year and as threats to Jewish community centers and synagogues have continued nationwide, according to Dr. Syed Haque, chairman of the Islamic Society of Frederick’s newly-formed crisis management team…
…EVEN THOUGH NO SUCH THREATS OR VIOLENT ACTS HAVE TARGETED THE MOSQUE, Frederick County’s only mosque.
He framed the plan as a preventative measure. “We’re not scared, but we are worried,” Haque said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Despite all the threats and vandalism at Jewish instutions and cemeteries from New York to Philadelphia to St. Louis to Los Angeles, neither Beth Sholom Congregation nor Congregation Kol Ami of Frederick have planned to increase or change existing security measures, congregation leaders said.
And certainly, they are not demanding taxpayer-funded police protection.
Frederick police Chief Ed Hargis, without having read the plan, said he would reinforce with police officers the current practice of driving by the Masjid on Key Parkway as part of their patrols. If the Islamic Society wanted an officer stationed in front of the Masjid for an extended period, though, he suggested the organization hire an off-duty officer or a private security company.
There is also a sample incident report that community members can use to report hate crimes, threats or other discrimination to the crisis management team. The team — comprised of Haque, the Islamic Society’s president and several of the mosque’s spiritual leaders — will review reports and determine appropriate actions on a case-by-base basis, Haque said.