Muslim civil rights group applauds good Samaritans for assisting victim
(NEW YORK, NY, 7/18/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged Erie County District Attorney John Flynn to seek hate crime charges against Jeffrey Calhoun for brandishing a gun at Jeanneie Muhammad, an African-American Muslim woman who was wearing a hijab.
The incident started after a traffic accident. While Muhammad attempted to get her car insurance information, Calhoun allegedly reached into Muhammad’s car and took her keys. According to Muhammad, Calhoun then tried to steal her pursue, grabbed her, threw her to the ground and bit her left arm. After good Samaritans arrived, Calhoun brandished a handgun at Muhammad and the good Samaritans. Calhoun is charged with Attempted Robbery 1st, Menacing 2nd, and Harassment 2nd.
Video of the incident can be seen here (warning: offensive language):
SEE ALSO: Lockport man held behind bars; civil rights advocates suggest hate crime prosecution
Muhammad and the Buffalo Civil Rights Initiative allege that Calhoun’s actions were motivated by his assumption that Muhammad was not a U.S. citizen. Additionally, Muhammad has alleged that Calhoun called her the “n” word.
SEE: Lockport man charged with trying to rob woman at gunpoint in North Buffalo
CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:
“The hateful nature of our political landscape has emboldened bigots with a belief that they can act in this way with impunity. Thankfully, good Samaritans stepped in to prevent further harm. We hope the district attorney will vigorously prosecute this case by including a hate crime charge and sending a message that hate has no place in Erie County. Mr. Calhoun is very lucky he is a white man because most black men are shot dead by police for pulling out a cell phone from their pockets much less an actual handgun.”
He said CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration rhetoric, policies and appointments.
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Bias incidents should be reported to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.