Press Releases

CAIR-MN Seeks Hate Crime Probe of Assault on North Dakota Muslim

cair logos minnesota(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 7/3/2017) – – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged assault on a North Dakota Muslim as a possible hate crime.

CAIR said two men were arrested after reportedly beating the Somali-American Muslim victim early Sunday morning in Fargo, N.D. Police say three Muslim men were in a parking lot while moving into a nearby building when they were approached by two men unknown to them.

The suspected assailants, James Patrick Billiot, 32, and Justin William Rifanburg, 28, allegedly made derogatory remarks — including reportedly shouting “f**king n**gers” — before assaulting the Muslim victim, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

SEE: 2 Arrested After Fight in South Fargo Early Sunday

“Given the reported bias-motivated slurs used during the alleged assault, we ask local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.

Hussein said CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election. The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

SEE: New CAIR Report Shows More than 50 Percent Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents

CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: Anti-Muslim Bias Incidents 2017 Quarter One Update

CAIR-NY Receives ”˜Extermination’ Threat, City Council Award on Same Day

In response to the increase in hate incidents, CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging Muslims to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

SEE: Victim of a hate crime? Now there’s an app for that. (CNN)

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here:   

Community members may also report any bias incidents 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-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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