CAIR: ISLAMIC GROUP WANTS BMW PLANT INCIDENT INVESTIGATED AS HATE CRIME
A Muslim man at the BMW plant in Greer told authorities a co-worker threatened to cut his throat, prompting a national Islamic group to ask the incident be investigated as a possible hate crime.
Abdulwahab Ahmed, 65, said a man approached him in a restroom at the plant and held a box cutter to his throat, according to a Spartanburg County sheriff's report.
The man, whose name was removed from the report, told Ahmed that he would kill him before making a slashing motion as he lifted the box cutter from Ahmed's neck, the report said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Ahmed also claims other plant employees repeatedly made anti-Muslim comments, including a statement that Muslims "should all be killed."
"There have been a number of comments based on the alleged victims' religion," CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said. "We call on authorities and the FBI to investigate this disturbing incident as a possible hate crime."
A message left for Ahmed at his home was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Authorities are not calling the incident a hate crime at this point, but are investigating, sheriff's spokesman Maj. Dan Johnson said.
FBI spokesman Tom O'Neill refused to say if federal agents are investigating.
BMW said the two men involved in the bathroom incident were employees of a plant subcontractor, were business partners in the past and had a long personal history.
"BMW security is cooperating with our subcontractor and the Sheriff's Department to ensure the continuing safe working environment of all personnel at the BMW plant," public relations manager Bobby Hitt said in a statement.