(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/25/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today thanked the managers and staff of a business in New Mexico who came to the defense of a Muslim woman harassed by another customer.
CAIR also asked police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.
The Muslim customer, who wears an Islamic head scarf (hijab), was verbally harassed by another customer at a Smithâ€™s store in Albuquerque, N.M., on Wednesday morning. The harasser reportedly yelled: â€œGet out of our country, you donâ€™t belong here, youâ€™re a terrorist!â€
A witness said almost all the store employees stopped what they were doing and came to the defense of the Muslim customer. The witness said: â€œThere was even another woman that like went over to the woman in the hijab and put her arm around her and gave her hug and held her while the Smithâ€™s employees came.â€
Staffers got the harasser out of the store, but she reportedly waited in the parking lot for the Muslim woman to come out. â€œSo all the Smithâ€™s employees gathered around this woman and escorted her to her car and helped her load her groceries,â€ the witness said.
Police arrived too late to intervene in the incident.
â€œThis collective defense of a person being harassed because of her faith shows the best of our nation and can serve as an example to others at a time of growing Islamophobia nationwide,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. â€œWe urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a hate crime.â€
Hooper noted that CAIR has documented an unprecedented spike in incidents targeting Muslims and other minorities in recent months, and particularly following the November 8 presidential election.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated to contact local police and 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.html
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.
Become a Fan of CAIR on Facebook
Subscribe to CAIR's Email List
Subscribe to CAIR's Twitter Feed
Subscribe to CAIR's YouTube Channel
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org