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CAIR Calls for Probe of Bias Motive for Attack on DC Muslim

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/2/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for an attack Friday on a Washington, D.C., Muslim.

The man, who is of South Asian heritage and wears attire associated with the Islamic faith, reported to CAIR that a man punched him in the collar bone as he walked to the Dupont Circle metro stop in Washington, D.C., on his way to give the sermon at a Friday prayer (jummah). The victim believes the alleged assailant, who remained silent throughout the attack, was aiming for his throat but missed. A police report was filed about the attack.

“Given the unprecedented rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, we're concerned about a possible bias motive,” CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper told DCist. “We don't know what the motive is now, but we're looking into it. The fact that he was dressed in quote Islamic attire is one of the things, just as headscarves seem to be.”

SEE: Man Wearing Traditional Muslim Attire Punched Near Dupont Metro

CAIR noted a spike in anti-Muslim incidents in recent months, which the civil rights group attributes at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by public figures like Donald Trump.

In May, CAIR offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of a hate attack on a Muslim woman in Washington, D.C., during which the attacker allegedly shouted religious slurs and statements of support for Trump.

Video: CAIR Offers Reward for Info About DC Attack on Muslim Woman by Trump Supporter

Today, CAIR’s New York chapter welcomed increased hate crime charges against Emirjeta Xhelili for attacking two Brooklyn Muslim women pushing babies in strollers. 

CAIR-NY Welcomes Increased Hate Crime Charges for Attack on Brooklyn Muslim Women, Children

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization reported that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents, with a total of 55 cases recorded as of mid-September. Last year there were a total of 79 recorded anti-mosque cases.

CAIR Report: 2016 on Track to Be One of the Worst Years for Anti-Mosque Incidents

The majority of the 2016 incidents have been violent in tone, characterized by intimidation, physical assault and property damage, destruction or vandalism.

CAIR is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  

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