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CAIR-Oregon Welcomes Arrest of Suspect in Hate Crime Targeting African-American Muslim Couple

screenshot www.oregonlive.com 2017 07 08 08 53 47(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/8/17) — The Oregon committee of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Oregon) today welcomed the Portland Police Bureau’s arrest of a man who allegedly threatened an African-American Muslim couple with “serious physical injury” because of their “race, color, religion and national origin.”

Frederick Nolan Sorell, 49, was charged with three misdemeanor counts of intimidation resulting from the May 29 incident. Sorrell allegedly drove next to the Muslim couple for more than 20 blocks, attempted to hit their vehicle several times and reportedly shouted “take off the f***ing burka, this is America, go back to your f***ing country” before making a hand gesture several times — pointed at the couple — mimicking pulling the trigger of a handgun.

SEE: Police Arrest Man Who Told Portland Muslim Couple ‘Go Back to Your Country’

CAIR-Oregon worked with public officials and law enforcement authorities to assist the couple and to call for an arrest in the case.

SEE: CAIR-Oregon Calls on Portland Mayor, Police to Act on 2nd Anti-Muslim Incident

The incident occurred following the stabbing deaths of two men who defended a Muslim teenager wearing hijab who was reportedly being harassed by a man shouting slurs on a Portland train.

“We hope the arrest of this suspect will serve to deter others from committing bias-motivated crimes targeting Muslims or any other minority group,” said CAIR-Oregon spokesperson Zakir Khan. “CAIR-Oregon thanks the Portland Police Bureau and the Portland Mayor’s office for their diligent efforts in this case.”

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

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.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app   

Community members may also report any bias incidents to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report

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-Oregon Representatives Zakir Khan, zakir.cair.or@gmail.com, 626-502-8450; Seemab Hussaini, seemab.cair.or@gmail.com, 310-948-2040; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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