(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/28/15) â€“ The Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Texas) today called on Houston police and the FBI to investigate a road rage shooting in which the gunman reportedly shouted “go back to Islam” as a possible hate crime.
Ziad Abu Naim, 42, was shot in the road rage incident on Friday and is not expected to survive. A witness who spoke to a local television station said an anti-Muslim slur from the alleged shooter triggered the incident. “(The alleged shooter) stopped his car and rolled down his window,” the witness said. “So, my friend rolled down the window and the guy yelled 'Go back to Islam.'” The victim, who is of Palestinian heritage, remains in critical condition after being shot in the head. He is not expected to survive.
The shooter – who is claiming self-defense – was detained at the scene, but it is not clear if he remains in custody.
CAIR is in contact with the victim's family and has been in touch with Houston police to raise concerns about a possible bias motive in the case.
“Given the statement of the witness who says the alleged gunman shouted an anti-Muslim slur, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this shooting and to bring appropriate charges if that motive is proven,” said Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of CAIR's Houston office. “We have seen too many cases of anti-Muslim hate, threats and violence recently nationwide to ignore the possibility that Islamophobia led to this terrible incident.”
Carroll cited the “execution-style” killings of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., in February as another case of violence that may have been triggered by anti-Muslim hate.
Last week, CAIR's Iowa chapter called on law enforcement authorities to investigate apparently bias-motivated vandalism of a Muslim-owned house in Cedar Rapids as a hate crime.
CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization,Â recently called for an investigation of threats mailed to a number of Phoenix, Ariz., mosques, one of which was later surrounded by armed anti-Islam protesters. Nazi symbols were displayed at that rally.
CAIR has also called on the Obama administration to treat a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York as an act of terrorism and to charge the admitted organizer of the attack as a terrorist.
In another recent case, CAIR called on law enforcement authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to step up protection of a mosque and Islamic school in that county following threats to bomb the school's bus and to spill “Muslim blood.”
Other anti-Muslim incidents include threats to mosques in New Jersey and Ohio, “No Muslims” graffiti spray-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, hate vandalism of a Rhode Island Islamic school and threats to murder Massachusetts Muslims.
CAIR is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:Â CAIR-Texas Communications Coordinator Ruth Nasrullah, 713-838-2247 (office), 713-585-6314 (cell), email@example.com; CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll, 713-838-2247 (office), 832-549-1042 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2015