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CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Attack on Mass. Muslim Student

Boston-Police-patch(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/6/13) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged state and federal law enforcement authorities to bring hate crime charges against two suspects who allegedly verbally and physically assaulted a Muslim student in Boston, Mass.

CAIR said the alleged victim, a 23-year-old American citizen of Algerian heritage, was assaulted Saturday evening by the two white males when he left a Boston restaurant. The alleged assailants reportedly told the victim “you look like Tamerlan,” referring to deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and told him to “get out of my country.” The victim suffered cuts and bruises while defending himself during the altercation.

Police say the suspects have been identified but have not been arrested. (Boston Police Report No. 130265159)

“We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to take the suspects into custody and to bring appropriate charges that reflect the apparent bias motive in this case,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

He noted that police are also investigating anti-Muslim graffiti spray-painted on a Brooklyn, N.Y., sidewalk.

Hooper said CAIR recently asked prosecutors in Virginia to bring felony charges based on that state's hate crime law for an alleged assault on a Muslim U.S. Army reservist and Iraq veteran reportedly attacked by a passenger who compared him to those who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings and threatened to kill him.

Several other bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims may have been linked to the Boston bombings.

In Malden, Mass., a mother of Middle Eastern heritage wearing an Islamic headscarf, or hijab, was assaulted by a white male shouting anti-Muslim slurs. In New York, a Bangladeshi man was beaten hours after the Boston Marathon bombing by attackers who called him “a f**king Arab.” The victim was punched in the head and body, resulting in a dislocated shoulder.

CAIR's Oklahoma chapter also called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a second incident of vandalism targeting a mosque in that state to determine whether it is backlash from the Boston Marathon bombings.

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171,

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