MARCH 28, 2003
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Altaf Ali, 954-298-8214 or altaf(At)cair-florida.org;
Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506 or abedier(At)cair-florida.org;
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or cair(At)cair-net.org;
Ms. Hodan Hassan, 202-488-8787 or hhassan(At)cair-net.org
Muslim Woman Harassed on Florida Highway Says
Men in Van Shout 'Terrorist,' Throw Object at
- March 28 - Florida's office of the Washington-based Council
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on Attorney
General Charlie Crist to apply the full weight of the law to three
men accused of harassing a Muslim woman.
allegedly occurred March 6 as the woman, who was wearing an Islamic
head scarf, drove her car along a Pinellas County highway. According
to the victim, a native of Guyana who is a U.S. citizen, the men
repeatedly leaned out of their van's windows and shouted "terrorist"
as the vehicle changed lanes several time in an intimidating manner.
One of the perpetrators allegedly threw an object at the women's
car. A juvenile was arrested and charged with "throwing a deadly
missile into an occupied vehicle," (Case No. CRC0301979DL) but
the driver and the other passenger were apparently not taken into
strong statement from the attorney general's office, followed
by equally strong action, we are concerned that such incidents
will not be treated with the seriousness they deserve. It is time
that all community leaders work to end hate crimes," said CAIR-FL
Executive Director Altaf Ali.
A number of
anti-Muslim incidents have been reported recently across the United
States. CAIR attributes these incidents to pro-war rhetoric, coupled
with existing levels of anti-Muslim bias in American society.
an Indianapolis, Ind., Muslim suffered burns over 60 percent of
his body in what may have been a bias-related attack. Last Saturday,
an explosive device destroyed an Illinois Muslim family's van.
In other Illinois incidents, an Evanston resident received a mailed
death threat, a Glendale Heights Islamic center received a phoned
bomb threat and projectiles were fired at a mosque in Villa Park.
four Muslim women visiting a restaurant were verbally assaulted
by another patron. Death threats were made against Muslim students
at San Jose State University in Northern California. In Michigan,
a Muslim father and son report that they were refused service
at a store.
against Muslims have been reported in Northern California, Southern
California, Georgia, New Jersey, and South Carolina. One incident
in Yorba Linda, Calif., left a Muslim teenager badly beaten by
a group that allegedly included white supremacists.
CAIR is America's
largest Islamic civil liberties group. It is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 16 regional offices nationwide and in
Canada. Since its founding in 1994, CAIR has defended the civil
and religious rights of all Americans.
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