(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/31/09) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for state and federal hate crime charges against two men who allegedly called a California assault victim “Taliban” and “terrorist” during the attack.
CAIR said police in Pleasanton, Calif., have arrested two men suspected of assaulting a taxi driver last Thursday. The driver, Jaswinder Bangar, suffered facial lacerations and a broken tooth after allegedly being punched in the back of the head. Local police informed CAIR of the slurs used during the assault.
SEE: Police Announce Arrest of Two Men Suspected of Beating Cab Driver
“Whenever racial, ethnic or religious slurs are used by the perpetrators, additional hate crime charges should be considered,” said Zahra Billoo, programs and outreach director for CAIR’s San Francisco Bay area chapter (CAIR-SFBA). “Without considering the additional penalties imposed by hate crime charges, we send the message that we as a society are indifferent to intolerance and bigotry.”
“Our nation’s religious, political and community leaders need to address the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric on the Internet and on talk radio that can lead to such incidents,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Last week, CAIR issued a similar call for civil rights charges after an apparent bias-motivated attack on Muslims in New York. The FBI now says it is monitoring that case.
SEE: Feds Monitoring Apparent Bias Case Involving Muslims (NY Newsday)
CAIR also recently reported that anti-Iranian graffiti was scrawled inside a Muslim-owned store in Philadelphia that was ransacked by vandals.
SEE: Vandalism at Penn. Business Probed as Hate Crime
SEE ALSO: Philadelphia Muslim Store Target of Apparent Hate Crime
Hooper urged American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”
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.
CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, 626-252-0885, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com