For Immediate Release
CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probes of Anti-Muslim Incidents in Wisconsin, Texas
Muslim civil rights group decries ‘almost daily’ attacks on Muslims, other minority groups
WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslims civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for hate crime investigations of apparently bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims in Wisconsin and Texas.
CAIR said the incidents are part of “almost daily” attacks on American Muslims and other minority groups nationwide in recent months.
In Milwaukee, Wis., a Muslim woman was attacked Monday morning as she walked home from prayer. The victim says a car pulled up alongside her, and a man who jumped out of the vehicle proceeded to attempt to remove her Islamic head scarf, or hijab. "He said to take my hijab, my scarf. I tried to fight him. 'Don't take my hijab,' you know? So he threw me on the floor then he beat me like an animal," said the victim. She also said that the alleged attacker used a knife to cut her jacket and arm.
In Dallas, Texas, it was recently revealed that University of Texas student government senators found copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy text, in the toilets of bathrooms after a March 28 student government meeting.
In Northern Virginia, vandals spray-painted Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-religious graffiti on a church and a Jewish community center.
“We are concerned about the almost daily hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority and faith communities, and about the lack of a response from national political leaders,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Our leaders, and particularly those in policy-making positions, need to speak out against the exploitation of increasing divisions in American society that inevitably results in such incidents.”
Hooper noted that CAIR recently called on state and national Republican Party leaders to repudiate Islamophobic comments made by a GOP lawmaker in Delaware following a Muslim invocation in that state’s legislature.
Last night, CAIR’s San Diego chapter called for the resignation of a local official who posted anti-Muslim comments on social media.
On Sunday, CAIR’s Greater Los Angeles Area office called for hate crime charges to be considered following an alleged bias-motivated attack on a Muslim woman in downtown Los Angeles Saturday by a man who reportedly shouted racial slurs and beat her in the head.
CAIR recently decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of trend that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.