(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/29/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said it has asked the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., to preserve any surveillance video covering the site of an alleged attack on a Muslim woman by another woman shouting religious slurs and statements of support for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Investigators tell CAIR the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
The Muslim woman, who is African-American and wears an Islamic head scarf (hijab), reported to CAIR that she was assaulted on April 21 outside a Starbucks in northwest Washington. According to the victim, the alleged assailant shouted slurs such as â€œf**king Muslimâ€ and â€œf**king Muslim trash,â€ and told her to â€œgo back to where you came from.â€ The white, blond-haired attacker also reportedly stated that she was voting for Donald Trump and expressed hope that he would send â€œall of you terrorist Muslims out of this country.â€
After the alleged victim called 911, an officer arrived at the scene, but said he could not do anything about the hate rhetoric because it was â€œfreedom of speech.â€ When the officer left, the alleged attacker walked away, but then returned, approached the victim from behind and poured an unknown liquid over her head.
The victim again called 911 and filed a police report.
â€œWe urge investigators to seek out and preserve any surveillance video relevant to the case and to bring hate crime charge enhancements once the alleged perpetrator has been apprehended,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He said the D.C. Official Code (Â§ 22-3703) allows for enhanced fines and prison time for bias-related crimes.
Hooper noted that the alleged attack comes at a time of rising Islamophobia nationwide, prompted at least in part by anti-Muslim rhetoric employed by public figures like Donald Trump.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
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