Press Releases

CAIR-WA to Seek FBI Hate Crime Probe of Attack on Muslim Taxi Driver

CAIR-logo(SEATTLE, WA, 12/9/14) — Later today, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) will hold a news conference to call on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an attack on a Muslim taxi driver in Seattle as a hate crime.

The driver, who is an American Muslim of Somali heritage, says he was punched repeatedly in the face while driving, causing him to lose consciousness and hit two parked cars and crash into an apartment building. A local television station says 26-year old Jesse Fleming, a member of the U.S. Navy who is stationed in Everett and who was one of the three alleged perpetrators, reportedly called the Muslim driver a “terrorist.” The other two men involved in the beating fled from the scene.

SEE: Seattle Cab Driver Punched Repeatedly in Face, Allegedly Called 'Terrorist'
Police: Suspect in Possible Hate Crime Called Cab Driver a 'Terrorist,' Beat Him Unconscious

At the news conference, CAIR-WA will also ask for the community's help in identifying the other two perpetrators in the case and will announce a request to the US military to take appropriate action against Jesse Fleming and any other military personnel involved in the brutal attack, based on its own investigation.

WHAT: CAIR-WA News Conference to Call for FBI Probe of Attack on Muslim Taxi Drive
WHEN: Tuesday, December 9, 1 p.m. (Pacific)
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, abukhari@cair.com

“We are hearing news of high profile anti-Muslim hate crimes happening nationwide almost every day,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. “We will work with our partners in state and federal law enforcement, including the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office, so that the perpetrators are met with the full force of the law.”

“We are asking for the public's help in identifying the other two suspects who allegedly helped Jesse Fleming brutally beat the taxi driver. Anyone with information about the other two suspects should contact the FBI-Seattle office at 206-622-0460.”

On Saturday, the Sacramento Valley and St. Louis chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV, CAIR-St. Louis) called for federal hate crime investigations of possibly bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims in California and Missouri.

CAIR says these and other incidents, including the murder of a Muslim teenager in an apparent hate attack, may be part of a spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide.

CAIR: Killing of Muslim Teen Highlights Possible Uptick in Anti-Muslim Violence
CAIR: Are Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes on the Rise? New Incidents Reported Across US
CAIR: US 'Terrorism?' What's Not Being Said About Kansas City, Austin attacks

Last week, CAIR's Kansas chapter called on state and federal law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, to investigate the murder of a Muslim teenager outside a Kansas City mosque. The alleged perpetrator allegedly targeted local Muslims over the last few months with a campaign of anti-Islam hate. The FBI is now investigating the murder as a hate crime.

CAIR's Minnesota chapter also called on federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting two St. Cloud, Minn., mosques as possible hate crimes.

Video: CAIR-MN Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Vandalism Targeting Minnesota Mosques
CAIR-MN Seeks Federal Hate Crime Probe of St. Cloud Mosque Vandalism

Last month, CAIR-MN sought a similar investigation of anti-Islam vandalism apparently targeting Muslims in a St. Paul neighborhood.

Also in November, CAIR's Washington state chapter called on law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a Muslim cemetery as a possible hate crime.

CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter called for a hate crime probe of vandalism targeting a local mosque. The perpetrator spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.

CAIR recently reported a number of apparent hate attacks on Islamic institutions in the United States, including shots fired at a California mosque and a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico.

The Muslim civil rights group's San Diego chapter also asked the FBI to investigate a threatening letter with an unknown substance sent to a local mosque.

CAIR's Houston office asked the FBI to investigate a threat it received that contained direct references to the group's address and to Muslims being “exterminated from this land.” Representatives of CAIR-Houston also urged local mosques to step up security measures.

CAIR is asking American Muslims to contact a local CAIR chapter to report any bias incidents.

A CAIR booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” was published in response to previous attacks on American mosques.

The booklet is designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.

A free copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” may be requested through our website.

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: CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, E-Mail: abukhari@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

 

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