Police Investigating Right-Wing Group’s Facebook Threat To ‘Burn Down’ Muslim Advocacy Group’s Offices
Police in Portland, Ore. are investigating a threat to burn down all of the offices of a Muslim advocacy group. The threat was posted on the Facebook page of right-wing group Patriot Prayer, according to The Hill.
“Can’t we just go burn down all the offices CAIR has?” wrote Facebook user Sean Fries in a comment that has since been removed.
CAIR is a Muslim advocacy and civil rights and the Oregon chapter of CAIR reported the comment to authorities after the online comment surfaced Saturday, according to The Oregonian.
“Given all the recent hate attacks and threats targeting minority communities nationwide, it is incumbent on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this apparent call to violence against a civil rights organization,” said CAIR-Oregon spokesperson Zakir Khan.
The threatening Facebook comment came just a day after the online fundraising company GivingFuel said it had severed ties with Patriot Prayer in response to pressure from social justice organizations, including CAIR-Oregon.
“Our goal is to empower organizations to positively impact the world and we make great software to help them do it,” GivingFuel said in the statement. “This was not a political decision.”
Patriot Prayer’s Facebook page has nearly 18,000 followers, many who live outside the Pacific Northwest, including Fries, who appears to live in California.
Patriot Prayer’s leader, Joey Gibson, tried to distance himself from the threatening comment.
“I don’t think [CAIR] should be politicizing it and blame it on me. I don’t even understand why they have a problem with me,” he said according to the Oregoninan, and he described the threats as “stupid,” “annoying” and “unfortunate.”
Demonstrations held by Patriot Prayer in Portland and other cities have been criticized for attracting white nationalists and others who promote bigoted or racist views. A number of the group’s events have erupted into a series violent clashes between supporters and counter-protesters such as Antifa activists.