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BREAKING NEWS: CAIR-MI Urges Hate Crime Charges for Woman Who Assaulted Muslim on Spirit Airlines on 9/11

(CANTON, MI, 9/12/2021)- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a local chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Wayne County authorities to charge a woman who allegedly assaulted an African-American Muslim woman on Spirit Airlines with a hate crime under Michigan’s Ethnic Intimidation Statute.

On September 11, Aicha Toure, was traveling on Spirit Airlines flight 3807 from Atlanta to Detroit when a white woman whom she did not know boarded the plane acting belligerently.

Toure is a visibly Muslim woman who wears an Islamic head scarf. During the flight, the white woman reportedly initiated altercations with minority crew members on the flight, and upon landing in Detroit began harassing and intimidating an older woman who looked to be of South Asian descent.

When Toure asked the woman to stop cursing at the older woman, she became violent and called Toure a “Muslim Terrorist,” along with a number of profanities. When the white woman realized Toure, and others were recording her Islamophobic comments, she struck allegedly Toure with her fist before crew members of Spirit were able to intervene. The alleged assailant was arrested.

CAIR-MI welcomed the alleged assailant’s arrest by the Wayne County Sherriff and applauded their quick action in this matter.

“We call for the suspect who allegedly spewed anti-Muslim rhetoric during the assault to be charged to the full extent of the law,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.  “Swift arrests along with strong prosecutions must be instituted to deter future acts of anti-Muslim hate crimes.”

Walid added: “It is clear that the actions of the alleged assailant, along with her bigoted statements, indicate that her assault and battery of Ms. Toure was motivated primarily by Ms. Toure’s identity as a visibly Muslim woman. As such, we ask that Wayne County Prosecutor’s office seek charges against the assailant under Michigan’s Ethnic Intimidation Statute MCL 750.147b, which makes it a felony to harass or assault someone because of their religion or race.”

“The alleged actions of this individual are reprehensible and she clearly targeted religious and racial minorities for her violent words and actions,” Stated CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy V. Doukoure. “Michigan’s Ethnic intimidation law was created to protect people like Ms. Toure from being assaulted after being called a Muslim terrorist while traveling on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is imperative that Wayne County Prosecutor’s office take this hate crime seriously and ensure that Muslims are safe from hate and violence in all aspects of their life.”

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.          

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CONTACT: Dawud Walid, CAIR-MI Executive Director (248) 842-1418, dwalid@cair.com ; Amy V. Doukoure- CAIR-MI Staff Attorney (586) 943-8823, adoukoure@cair.com

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