(WASHINGTON D.C., 9/24/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for updated hate crime legislation in North Dakota after an 11-year-old African-American female was allegedly assaulted in a racist attack.
On Tuesday evening, North Dakota state officers responded to a report that a man had assaulted and choked an 11-year-old girl. The victim had reportedly been playing basketball with four other boys in the adjoining duplex to the assailant’s home.
The victim allegedly told officers that the assailant yelled at the children to leave his property and called them the n-word. He reportedly slapped the girl in the face. When the victim and her older sister went to confront the assailant about the slap, he reportedly grabbed the victim by her hair and neck, choking her and lifting her partially off the ground. One of the child’s hair extensions was reportedly ripped off. When the victim’s sister tried to free her by striking the assailant, he hit her in the face. The assailant reportedly told the girls their “skin is the color of s***” and called them the n-word.
The assailant was charged with felony aggravated assault on a victim under 12, preventing arrest, and a misdemeanor count of simple assault.
SEE: ‘Your skin is the color of s***.’: Man choked out 11-year-old girl, court docs allege
While the Discrimination in Public Places provision of the North Dakota Central Code is sometimes classed as a hate crime, there have been no hate crime prosecutions under that law, and North Dakota lawmakers and law enforcement do not consider the state to have a hate crime law. North Dakota is widely considered to be one of the few states with no hate crime legislation.
In a statement, CAIR Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
“This horrific attack and the failure to prosecute it as a hate crime points to the need for clear legislation to deal with bias-motivated crimes in North Dakota. The individual who allegedly committed this monstrous act did so with obvious racial motivation and should be charged accordingly. We urge North Dakota lawmakers to pass an updated hate crime law that will fully hold those who commit bias-motivated crimes accountable.”
Mitchell noted that CAIR has supported hate crime laws in other states that do not have them.
SEE: CAIR Calls for New Wyoming Hate Crime Legislation After Bills Defeated
CAIR Supports Hate Crime Bills in South Carolina, Arkansas
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Mitchell said the American Muslim community and CAIR stand in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Asian and anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and all other forms of bigotry.
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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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