IL: Beaten For Her Faith?



After allegedly being attacked Saturday by a group she says were intolerant of her religious faith, the 32-year-old Freeport resident, who recently converted to Islam, is hoping to see her attackers charged with a felony hate crime...

Such an incident is especially disturbing to many Muslims, as it comes amid heightened fear nationwide that recent terrorist killings abroad will foment hatred for Muslims in the United States...

Upon approaching the stop sign at the corner, Montes-Vivas said three people came up to her car, asking her for a "light." She indicated to them she did not have a light. Then, she said, one of the alleged assailants began shouting anti-Muslim insults at her and kicking her car.

The suspects, Montes-Vivas said, likely knew she was Muslim because she was wearing her Hijab at the time, which is a piece of Muslim clothing that covers the head...

Montes-Vivas said she has filed a complaint regarding this most recent incident with a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the council, said his group is contacting the local State's Attorney's Office and the local FBI office to ask them to treat this as a hate crime.

The group also issued a press release late Wednesday detailing Montes-Vivas' case, along with other alleged crimes against Muslim Americans.

"It (should) be treated as a hate crime, not a simple battery, a misdemeanor," Hooper said.

With recent violent incidents in the Middle East, such as beheadings and others, the council has noted an increase in anti-Muslim crimes in the United States, such as vandalism to mosques and other crimes, Hooper said. This makes aggressive enforcement of hate crime laws all the more important, he said...

 


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