– For Immediate Release and Distribution –
Today, the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged bias-motivated assault on an Illinois Muslim woman as a hate crime.
According to the woman– an American of European heritage who wears Islamic attire (niqab)– a man approached her while she was shopping at a Walmart in DeKalb, Illinois and began shouting that Muslims are not welcome in this country and that “Americans” do not want her here.
The woman reportedly responded that she is American and began trying to take a photo of the man with her phone for police evidence, when the attacker allegedly walked toward her screaming, and pulled her clothing hard enough that it impacted her entire body, resulting in neck and back pain. Dekalb police are investigating the incident.
“The empowerment of hatred and bigotry in our nation has unfortunately reached the level that members of minority groups are being targeted as they go about their daily business,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab. “We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the apparent bias motive of the alleged attacker.”
Rehab noted that CAIR-Chicago has witnessed an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
Yesterday, CAIR’s national office said new FBI hates crimes statistics — which indicated that almost one-quarter of the victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2016 were Muslim – shows the need for all Americans to stand up to increasing bigotry nationwide. Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by nearly 20 percent, anti-white by 17 percent, anti-Latino by 15 percent, and anti-Jewish by 3 percent.
CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
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