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Florida Muslim woman assaulted in Mall

Florida Muslim woman assaulted in Mall

The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate an assault on a Muslim woman at a shopping mall in that state as a hate crime.

The victim, the owner of a jewelry kiosk at Westshore Mall in Tampa who wears an Islamic head scarf, says she was verbally and physically assaulted on Tuesday by three people who told her to "get out of (America)" and said her religion is "hateful and violent." The assailants allegedly blamed the woman for the recent Madrid train bombings.

During the assault, one of the attackers allegedly grabbed the victim's throat and attempted to remove her head scarf. The perpetrators fled when the victim ran to find mall security officers. Police are currently investigating the incident as a case of simple battery.

"The facts of this case mandate that law enforcement authorities treat it as a hate crime and amend the possible charges accordingly," said CAIR-FL Communications Director Ahmed Bedier. "We must send an unambiguous message that anti-Muslim attacks will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali.

Since the 9/11 terror attacks, Florida Muslims have witnessed an alarming rise in bias-related incidents. In 2001, a Tallahassee man drove his truck into a local mosque. In 2002, a Pinellas county man was arrested for plotting to attack some 50 Islamic institutions in Florida.

According to CAIR's national office, the Florida assault is part of a recent rise in anti-Muslim incidents. Today in Texas, CAIR's San Antonio office is holding a news conference to express community concerns about arson attacks on three local Muslim businesses. Last month, vandals wrote "sand n**gers" and "America rocks b*tch" on the interior walls of the Islamic Center of the South Plains in Lubbock, Texas.

A CAIR "Muslim Community Safety Kit" booklet, designed to help local Islamic leaders protect institutions and individuals, may be obtained by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 202-488-8787.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

 

Third Muslim business torched in Texas

Third Muslim business torched in Texas

On Wednesday, April 7, the San Antonio, Texas, office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Antonio) will hold a "community solidarity" news conference in reaction to an arson attack Monday on a local Muslim business, the third such incident in three weeks.

Participants in the news conference will include local elected officials and representatives from a number of civil liberties organizations, minority groups and law enforcement agencies.

When: Wednesday, April 7, 1:15 p.m.
Where: Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, Texas
Contact: CAIR-San Antonio, Sarwat Husain, 210-378-9528, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"If bias is indeed the motive for these attacks, our community needs to send a clear message to the perpetrators that bigotry and hatred will not be tolerated," said CAIR-San Antonio Executive Director Sarwat Husain.

The first fire was set at Zia Abbasi's Texaco station on March 24. The second was at Ameen Jiveni's Kwik Pantry on March 29. The latest fire occurred at the Muslim-operated Commercial Food Mart early Monday. All fires were set using gasoline at about 3 a.m. Arson investigators say they cannot label the fires as hate crimes until they arrest a suspect.

"We are monitoring the situation in San Antonio to see if it fits into the growing pattern of anti-Muslim incidents in our society," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. Last month, vandals wrote "sand n**gers" and "America rocks b*tch" on the interior walls of the Islamic Center of the South Plains in Lubbock, Texas.

See: Third Muslim Owned Convenience Store Set On Fire
See: Pair of Fires Leaves Muslim Community Concerned

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

 

Major study of American Muslims to be released

Major study of American Muslims to be released

On Tuesday, April 6, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to release the results of a year-long study of the American Muslim community.

When: Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 9 a.m.
Where: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington D.C.
Contact: ISPU Director of Development Muzammil Ahmed, 734-368-2127, 586-416-1150, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The study, coordinated by University of Kentucky Professor Ihsan Bagby, provides a penetrating look at the American Muslim community and its member's views on policy issues, politics and religion. It also provides a detailed demographic look at the Muslim community in metro Detroit. (Some 1300 American Muslims participated in the study.)

(Note: The full results of the study will be presented by Dr Bagby at the "Islam in America" conference sponsored by Wayne State University and ISPU on April 7th and 8th in Detroit, Mich. For more information about that conference, see: http://www.ispu.us/pdfs/Islam%20in%20America%20Brochure.pdf)

"This report gives us a rare glimpse into a community that is often talked about but rarely understood," said Farid Senzai, ISPU Director of Research. "It deserves a wide readership and should exert substantial influence on public policy."

Major findings of the study include:

* The vast majority of Muslim Americans hold "moderate" views on issues of policy, politics and religion.

* More than 90 percent of mosque-attending Muslims support greater involvement in their local community and national politics

For embargoed copies of the report, media professionals may contact the ISPU office at (586) 416-1150. See Also: www.ispu.us

 

U.S. Muslims seek Pentagon probe on Iraq photo

U.S. Muslims seek Pentagon probe on Iraq photo



Click to englarge
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for a Pentagon investigation of a photograph circulating on the Internet that apparently shows an American soldier mocking an Iraqi child.

The photo sent to CAIR seems to be of an American soldier standing next to two Iraqi children who are giving the thumbs-up sign. One child holds a hand-lettered sign in English that reads: "Lcpl Boudreaux killed my Dad, th(en) he knocked up my sister!" ("Knocked up" is American slang for making someone pregnant out of wedlock.)

See: http://www.cair-net.org/images/lcpl11.jpg

"If the United States Army is seeking to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, this is the wrong way to accomplish that goal," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Defense Department officials must take action to let military personnel know that such offensive behavior harms America's image and will not be tolerated."

Awad said CAIR has also received an anonymous letter from a soldier who recently returned from Iraq that claims a commanding officer engaged in inappropriate conduct with prepubescent Iraqi girls. The letter states that the officer, who was named by the writer, referred to the girls as "pre-rag heads" and coerced local Iraqi leaders to provide them in exchange for protection by American soldiers. (The officer's military unit was also named in the letter.)

The letter-writer indicated revulsion at the officer's alleged actions. He or she wrote: "The thought of all this makes me sick to my stomach. I am afraid to bring this to anyone in the Army, because I am doubtful that they would believe a soldier over the Battalion Commander."

"These reports point to a disturbing pattern of behavior that needs to be addressed by our military," said Awad.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has consistently condemned all terrorist acts, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states.

 

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