US: Florida man sentenced for only 48 months for threatening to bomb mosque

7th Sep 2018
US: Florida man sentenced for only 48 months for threatening to bomb mosque

By Umar Farooq

 

WASHINGTON (AA): A man in the state of Florida was sentenced Thursday to only 48 months in prison for threatening to blow up a mosque, an officer of the court told Anadolu Agency.

Dustin Allen Hughes, 26, from Cutler Bay, just outside of Miami, called the Jamaat Ul Muttaqeen Mosque of Pembroke Pines on May 5 and left a hate-filled and Islamophobic bomb threat message on the mosque’s voicemail.

“I planted a bomb in your temple, I’m gonna blow your fucking temple up you f—— Muslim. Where you guys have your sanctuary and worship Allah, I’m gonna blow that mother f—– up. I have a detonator…[Y]ou guys are all gonna be up in flames after I’m done with you!” the voicemail said.

Hughes was arrested May 15. On June 28, he pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs with the threatened use of an explosive device.

Hughes called in the threat to scare the members of the mosque, according to the Justice Department.

After serving his sentence, Hughes will face a three-year period of supervised review, the court officer at the U.S. courthouse in Miami told Anadolu Agency. He will also have to pay $1,800 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg confirmed the country’s commitment to religious freedom and safety, in a statement after Hughes pleaded guilty.

“Our office is committed to protecting the right to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs,” Greenberg said. “Obstructing this right, by force or threat of force, constitutes a hate crime that we will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

Anti-Muslim incidents have been on the rise in recent years. Last year, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group, reported hate crimes against Muslims rose 15 percent.

New America, a research institute based in Washington, D.C., reported that there have been 757 separate anti-Muslim incidents in the U.S. since 2012.

[Map of Florida, US, by Info Eagle/Creative Commons]

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