(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/19/15) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a bias crime charge to be brought against a man who allegedly assaulted a Muslim woman in Indiana.
According to Bloomington, Ind., police, the Muslim woman was sitting in a restaurant Saturday evening with her 9-year-old daughter when a 19-year-old man began shouting ethnic slurs and reportedly shouted â€œwhite powerâ€ and â€œkill them all.â€
The alleged attacker, who is an Indiana University student, then reportedly grabbed the woman by the neck, slammed her head into the table and attempted to remove her Islamic headscarf.
The womanâ€™s husband and another man pinned the alleged assailant to the ground and waited for police to arrive. When the assailant arrived at the jail, he allegedly bit an officer in the leg.
The alleged attacker was charged with intimidation and felony-level battery among other charges. Bond was set at $2,000.
Police: Indiana University student Attacked Muslim Woman, Bit Officer
â€œWe urge prosecutors to bring a â€˜bias crimeâ€™ charge in this case as outlined under Indianaâ€™s Criminal Code,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. â€œWe are concerned that the low bail in this case is an indication that it is not being taken as seriously as it should given the allegations of violence and the alleged bias motive.â€
CAIR recently called on state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate vandalism at a Texas mosque as a possible hate crime.
Earlier this month, CAIR urged Muslim community leaders to consider instituting additional safety measures in response to hate rallies by anti-Muslim extremists targeting mosques nationwide.
In another incident, CAIR, called for hate crime charges against a man arrested after allegedly threatening Muslim worshipers at a prayer service in Ohio.
In August, CAIR released a new brief, called “Toxic Hate,” indicating that rhetorical attacks on the nation's Muslim community in the past year have a “more violent tone” than past spikes in Islamophobic sentiment.
The CAIR brief outlines incidents of violence and threats targeting individual Muslims, threats against groups of Muslims and threats and violence targeting Islamic houses of worship and institutions. It also includes a section on the recent phenomenon of armed anti-Islam demonstrations.
CAIR called for similar investigations of vandalism and hate targeting mosques in Kentucky, Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee, New York, and other states.
Those incidents fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community.
CAIR is urging community leaders to obtain and implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.htmlÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â
CAIR also asks Muslim 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.htmlÂ Â Â
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.
– END â€“