The head of a state civil rights group wrote a letter to Florida Atlantic University officials Wednesday after reading reports of a school employee spitting on a young Muslim woman protesting a controversial speaker Tuesday night.
"I'm very concerned," said Altaf Ali, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "I intend to follow up on this matter."
The incident happened Tuesday before a speech by Daniel Pipes, a controversial Middle East historian whose writings have been called racist and xenophobic. In a 2004 column in the New York Post, he accused an FAU professor of ties to terrorist groups.
A woman wearing a yellow FAU polo shirt stopped and spat at one of about 10 protesters carrying signs and passing out fliers. Though police were ready to cite the woman, the victim, 23-year-old Sana Akhtar, declined to press charges provided the woman apologized.
The woman walked out and, ringed by protesters, said she was sorry.
"I just lost it," the woman said. "I did not mean to spit on her."
To one of their questions, she answered she was an FAU employee, but said little else on the matter. (MORE)