Monday, January 7, 2013

CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Shooting of 'Middle Eastern' Man in Fla.
Shooter reportedly objected to man being in company of 'white' woman
(TAMPA, FL, 1/2/13) –- The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on the FBI to investigate a shooting attack in which the alleged perpetrator objected to a man perceived as "Middle Eastern" and Muslim being in the company of a "white" woman.
CAIR-FL said the two people attacked in the incident were harassed with racial slurs, including shouting "n**ger with a white girl," as they were leaving a local Walmart at 3 a.m. today. A police report indicates that the shooting victim was asked if he is Middle Eastern and whether he is Muslim. He reportedly answered "no" to each question.
The alleged attacker shot the man at least twice in the face with a pellet gun. Local law enforcement authorities are investigating the incident (Police Report 13-163) as a hate crime.
"We urge the FBI to investigate this case because it seems to fit a disturbing pattern of recent incidents targeting Muslims in Florida and nationwide," said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.
He noted that his office called for stepped-up security at mosques and Islamic schools in that state following an incident last month in which a woman carrying a sword was arrested after entering a mosque on a school campus.
"More serious efforts need to be put into challenging bias attacks on any minority group in our nation," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We must all recommit ourselves to challenging hatred and intolerance in the coming year."
Awad said CAIR recently repeated its call for America's political and religious leaders to speak out forcefully against growing anti-Muslim hate in American society after a New York woman was arrested for allegedly pushing a man to his death on the tracks of a subway station because she thought he was Muslim.
He also cited other recent hate incidents targeting Muslims or Islam:
  • A designated hate group headed by blogger Pamela Geller is placing Islamophobic advertisements in transit systems nationwide, including in New York subway stations. CAIR-NY reached out to the transit authority with concerns that the ads might incite violence.
  • A New York man of Afghan heritage was stabbed repeatedly outside a mosque by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim comments. A friend of the victim reported that the alleged attacker said "he doesn't like Muslims."
  • CAIR's Cleveland office released a video highlighting anti-Muslim hate preached at a recent Tea Party event at a school in that state, which included claims that American Muslims "will kill your children" and that "we are in war with Islam."
  • CAIR's Ohio chapter welcomed news that the Indiana man charged with intentionally setting fire to a Toledo mosque in September pleaded guilty.
  • CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area office called for increased community vigilance after a man reportedly entered a mosque in Fremont, Calif., claimed he had a gun, andthreatened to kill everyone inside the house of worship.
  • CAIR's San Antonio chapter called on federal law enforcement authorities to consider bringing charges against a man arrested for vowing to "shoot as many people as possible" at a local mosque.
  • In New Jersey, white supremacists faced hate crime charges for allegedly attacking several men of Egyptian descent in 2011. One of the alleged attackers wrote on a website: "(W)e went to hunt down some sand n**gers, it was me and my other bro on like 6 or eight and we whooped them."
CAIR recently submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.
In advance of that hearing, CAIR issued "Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012," a report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August.
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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