UPDATED: Uber driver is from West Chester, but the incident occurred in Middletown, Ohio
(CINCINNATI, OH, 2/7/20) â€“Â The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) today called for a woman who allegedly assaulted a Muslim Uber driver in Middletown, Ohio, to be prosecuted under Ohioâ€™s law on ethnic intimidation.
On January 20, the male Uber driver reportedly accepted a ride request from the alleged assailant. While they were at a traffic light, the woman asked him if he liked Donald Trump. The driver told her that he wasÂ prohibited from discussingÂ politics with riders, as per Uber policy. The woman then got upset andÂ began hittingÂ the seats and console, while hurling xenophobic slurs and yelling, â€œIâ€™m American; youâ€™re not!â€
The driver pulled over and asked her to leave the car. The woman continued to curse at him andÂ started to make obscene gestures. As the driver called 911, she told him â€œthe police will believe me and not you.â€
She then allegedly started to hit and scratch his face while yelling, â€œIâ€™m the American. The police wonâ€™t believe you â€“ theyâ€™ll arrest you instead.â€ She continued to tell the driver that he does not deserve to be in America and that he should go back to his country.
The police arrived while the woman was still physically and verbally attacking the driver. She was arrested for assault and the Muslim man had to go to the emergency room due to his injuries.
â€œThis was clearly a hate crime and the assailant should be prosecuted accordingly. Prosecuting this incident as merely an assault does not address the apparent motive behind this crime,â€ saidÂ CAIR-OhioÂ Civil Rights Attorney Sana Hassan. â€œIf we continue to fail to prosecute these assaults as hate crimes, the problem will continue to go unaddressed.â€
CAIR-OhioÂ Executive DirectorÂ Romin IqbalÂ added:Â â€œThis hate crime demonstrates the need for our Ohio legislature to enact comprehensive hate crime laws that would deter incidents like these. The Ohio ethnic intimidation statute is inadequate in its ability to protect victims of hate crimes when compared to the hate crime legislation enacted by many states. Ohioans deserve better.â€
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups in recent years.
If you are a victim of a hate crime or discrimination, please contact CAIR-Ohio by filing an incident reportÂ here.
CAIR-Ohio has published â€œKnow Your Rightsâ€ materials online in English, Arabic, Somali, Urdu, Farsi, Bengali, and Bosnian. The multi-language civil rights materials can be foundÂ here.
CAIRâ€™s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.Â