WASHINGTON - A Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation Thursday issued a community safety advisory for American mosques following another incident targeting an Islamic house of worship, this time in Rhode Island.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Muslims in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, have asked for extra police protection after the sign for Masjid Al-Islam was vandalised early Sunday. Surveillance video shows a man smashing the sign with a hammer and then driving away, according to a news release.

That incident follows Tuesday’s fire that destroyed a Missouri mosque and the deadly shooting attack Sunday on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

“We urge Muslim leaders nationwide to take immediate steps to boost security, particularly in the last 10 days of the ongoing fast of Ramazan, when religious activities at mosques reach their peak,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.

Awad said recommended security measures, which are based on CAIR’s ‘Muslim Community Safety Kit’, include:

*     Reaching out to local law enforcement authorities to request stepped up patrols in the area of a mosque.

*     Meeting with elected officials to discuss safety concerns.

*     Installing video surveillance cameras, alarms and perimeter lighting.

*    Documenting descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles, and

*     Cooperating with local neighbourhood watch groups.

CAIR is also asking local Muslim communities to take actions outlined in its ‘Guide to Challenging Islamophobia’, which offers tips on dealing with anti-Islam rhetoric on the Internet, in the workplace and in schools and universities. The guide also offers advice for challenging anti-Muslim views espoused by public figures.

On Wednesday, CAIR called for stepped-up police protection at Muslim institutions and other houses of worship nationwide and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever may have caused the Missouri fire.