(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/29/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate an attack on a Columbia, Mo., resident of Middle Eastern heritage as a possible hate crime.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the assault took place August 7th and included shouted racial epithets. The victim was allegedly told to “go back to Iraq.” He and another person of Middle Eastern background who came to his aid suffered minor injuries during the attack.
Local authorities say that while the ethnicity of the victims may have played a role in the attack, the incident has not been classified as a hate crime.
SEE: “Police: Attack Wasn’t Hate Crime”
“Whenever an assailant mentions the perceived ethnicity or national origin of a victim, a bias motive should be presumed,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. Hooper urged the FBI to use its resources, and federal law, to help bring the perpetrators to justice.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: email@example.com