CAIR-MN: FEDERAL CHARGES SOUGHT IN ATTACK ON ST. CLOUD MUSLIM
(ST. PAUL, MN, 6/25/2007) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today asked that federal civil rights charges be filed against a man alleged to have attacked a Muslim who was leaving a St. Cloud mosque this past weekend.
According to police, a white male reportedly called the 26-year-old victim a "Muslim terrorist" and then shoved and elbowed him in the head. Police are calling the attack a bias-motivated crime. A 33-year-old man from Isanti, Minn., is under arrest in Stearns County Jail.
SEE: Police: Bias is Behind Attack on Man Leaving St. Cloud Mosque
SEE ALSO: Isanti Man Arrested in Biased Assault Case
"We urge the FBI to determine whether federal civil rights charges may be filed in this case," said CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley. "Federal charges would send a strong message that anti-Muslim bigotry will not be tolerated in our society."
Shirley also asked for stepped-up police protection for the St. Cloud mosque and called on state religious and political leaders to repudiate the Islamophobic attitudes that can lead to such incidents.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
CONTACT: CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley, Tel: 763-226-5866; E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-MN Vice-Chair Thasneem Ahmed, Tel: 651-206-6568, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; CAIR-MN Board Chair Lori Saroya, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-MN Executive Director Omar Merhi, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org