(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/15/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights organization, today condemned an alleged racist assault on a convenience store clerk in Vermont.
A man allegedly “went into a store, seemingly at random, and, unprovoked. . .held a loaded gun to the victim’s head because of her race and/or ethnicity.” The alleged assailant faces charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, which carry potential prison sentences because prosecutors consider the crimes motivated by hate.
The suspect allegedly called the clerk a “lazy ni**er b**ch.” According to an affidavit, the suspect said, “Come send anyone you want after me and I’ll shoot them” and then took a “tactical vest with ballistic plates” from his car and put it on.
Police: Essex Man Used Racial Slurs, Waved Pistol at Store Clerk
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“In the current political climate that emboldens racists, white supremacists and Islamophobes, we are seeing an unprecedented spike in these type of hate incidents,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We condemn this alleged bias-motivated assault and urge state and national leaders to speak out forcefully against the growing hate and division in our society.”
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
Earlier this year, CAIR released its 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” which showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.
SEE: 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted
Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by going to: https://www.cair.com/report
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.