(SACRAMENTO, CA, 5/7/13) – The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned a brutal attack on an elderly Sikh man in that state.
CAIR-SV said 82-year old Plara Singh was beaten with an iron bar after he left a Sikh temple in Fresno, Calif., Sunday morning. He remains hospitalized in serious condition.
Sikh Coalition: 82-Year-Old Man Severely Beaten with Iron Bar
"We stand with the Sikh community in rejecting the religious and ethnic hatred that leads to such brutal and cowardly attacks," said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra.
[NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.]
Elkarra said CAIR has in the past spoken out against bias-motivated attacks on American Sikhs.
Last year, CAIR said that American Muslims "stand with their Sikh brothers and sisters" following a deadly shooting attack targeting a house of worship of that faith in Wisconsin.
In 2011, CAIR offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who gunned down two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, Calif.
In 2010, CAIR called for an FBI investigation of an attack on a Sikh cab driver in West Sacramento, Calif. The driver said his passengers made anti-Muslim remarks during the attack. Two men were later arrested on charges of felony assault and commission of a hate crime.
CAIR: Muslim Assaulted In Bias Attack Outside Boston Restaurant (Boston Globe)
Yesterday, CAIR urged state and federal law enforcement authorities to bring hate crime charges against two suspects who allegedly verbally and physically assaulted a Muslim student in Boston, Mass.
CAIR recently asked prosecutors in Virginia to bring felony charges based on that state's hate crime law for an alleged assault on a Muslim U.S. Army reservist and Iraq veteran reportedly attacked by a passenger who compared him to those who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings and threatened to kill him.
Video: Taxi Driver Claims He Was Attacked Because He is Muslim (CAIR)
Several other bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims may have been linked to the Boston bombings.
In Malden, Mass., a mother of Middle Eastern heritage wearing an Islamic headscarf, or hijab, was assaulted by a white male shouting anti-Muslim slurs. In New York, a Bangladeshi man was beaten hours after the Boston Marathon bombing by attackers who called him "a f**king Arab." The victim was punched in the head and body, resulting in a dislocated shoulder.
CAIR's Oklahoma chapter also called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a second incident of vandalism targeting a mosque in that state to determine whether it is backlash from the Boston Marathon bombings.
CAIR is investigating other reports it has received recently of threats to American mosques and Muslim schools.
Muslim individuals and Islamic institutions, as well as houses of worship of other faiths, are being urged to review advice on security procedures contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916.289.3748, [email protected];CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, [email protected]; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, [email protected]