Muslim civil rights group also calls for arrest of second individual allegedly involved in incident
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/7/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Indiana legislature to pass a hate crime law following an alleged attack on a Muslim university professor who was reportedly called a â€œf**king foreignerâ€ in a Walmart parting lot, followed to his home and beaten severely.
Â [NOTE: Indiana is one of only five states without a bias or hate crime law. Recently-introduced legislation would create an automatic enhancement for any crime based in part on the victimâ€™s characteristics such as their race, religion, or sexual orientation.]
CAIR also called for the arrest of the person who allegedly drove the assailant to the scene of the attack and is requesting that Walmart preserve any surveillance video of the beginning of the incident.
The Muslim professor, who is a permanent U.S. resident of Canadian citizenship and Egyptian heritage, reported to CAIR that he was pulling out of a parking spot at the Walmart in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday evening when a vehicle accelerated toward him and a woman inside allegedly shouted â€œgo away f**king foreigner.â€ That vehicle reportedly followed the Muslim professor to his home on a dead-end street, where a man got out and began kicking him in his face and neck, causing bleeding on the head and in one eye.
The alleged attacker was arrested after a neighbor called the Tippecanoe County Sheriffâ€™s Office. According to police records, he was charged with battery.
He was released on September 4 after posting bond of just $257.
The woman, who drove the vehicle with the alleged assailant as a passenger, was not arrested, despite driving to the home of the Muslim professor and allegedly shouting â€œkill himâ€ during the incident.
â€œThis incident points to the critical need for legislation mandating hate crime enhancements when an Indiana resident is targeted because of their actual or perceived minority group status,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. â€œWe urge that charges be considered for the driver of the alleged attacker, just as a driver for a bank robbery would be charged for that crime.â€
Hooper noted a spike in anti-Muslim incidents in recent months, which the civil rights groups attributes at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by public figures like GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and others.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking 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: 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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org