CAIR: PA Muslim Family Reports Highway Attack
Assailant allegedly shouted racist, anti-Muslim slurs
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/23/2005) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged attack on a Muslim family in Pennsylvania as a possible hate crime.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the family, a couple with a 1-year-old baby, reported being followed by an unknown person while driving on Route 202 near Blue Bell, Pa., Wednesday of last week. (The husband is a U.S. citizen of Syrian origin, while his wife is of Syrian-Polish descent.)
According to the family, after repeatedly speeding up and almost hitting the family’s car from the rear, the lone white male perpetrator allegedly tried to force their vehicle off the road. He then pulled in front of the family’s car and forced it to stop. While the family remained locked in their car, the man punched the car window, tried to open the door, threatened to “f*ck you all up,” called the family “dirty Arabs,” and called the Muslim woman a “raghead,” an apparent reference to her Islamic head scarf. The assailant also claimed to be a “Marine,” but was dressed in business attire.
The family says they escaped the initial attack by driving around the assailant’s car, only to have the entire scenario repeated further down the road. Whitpain Township police tell CAIR traffic charges have been filed based on a license number provided by the victims.
“A Muslim family should be able travel on our nation’s highways without fear of assault by bigots,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI should treat this incident as a possible hate crime and act accordingly.”
CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org