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CAIR-MN Seeks Criminal Charges for Harassment Targeting Muslim Woman Shopper

cair logos minnesota(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 3/21/17) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) is calling on law enforcement authorities to reconsider bringing criminal charges against a man who allegedly harassed a Muslim woman shopper in Moorhead, Minn., because of her Islamic attire (hijab).

According to the alleged victim, Fardoso Mohamed, who was shopping at the Hornbacher’s in Moorhead, the man told her, “Hey, you need to remove the hijab.” “He was very close to me, and he was yelling very hard, very mad,” said Mohamed, who noted that harassment of hijab-wearing women is not unusual in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Mohamed says she walked away from the man, but he reportedly followed her through the store and confronted her again about her religious attire. Bystanders did not assist Mohamed or intervene on her behalf. But a Hornbacher’s employee did confront the alleged perpetrator, and he eventually left. A Moorhead police spokesman said he believed that while the man’s behavior was rude, no laws were broken.

SEE: After Moorhead Muslim Woman Harassed Over Hijab, Some Say Treatment Is Common

“We urge law enforcement authorities to reconsider bringing charges in this case based on Minnesota statutes prohibiting stalking and harassment,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “We thank the store employee who came to the aid of Ms. Mohamed.”

Under Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1.), “stalking” is conduct which one “knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim.”

CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges 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: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html     

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-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, jhussein@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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