WASHINGTON, May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on President Trump to speak out personally against rising bigotry and acts of racial violence in America targeting Muslims and other minority groups after two people were stabbed to death in Oregon when they reportedly tried to intervene as a man yelled racist and Islamophobic slurs at two young Muslim women, one of whom wore an Islamic head scarf, or hijab.
Witnesses told one local media outlet that the suspect shouted about "hating Muslims" before being confronted. While the suspect's rants were not exclusively anti-Muslim, at some point the man directed his slurs at the two women who appeared to be of "Middle Eastern" heritage. One other passenger was injured in the incident, but is expected to survive. The suspect has not been named, but is described as a white man between the ages of 20 and 40.
SEE: 2 Killed in Stabbing on MAX Train as Man Directs Slurs at Muslim Women, Police Say
Police Believe the Victims Were Defending Women in Hijabs
Police: 2 Killed In MAX Train Stabbing After Suspect Directs Slurs at Women
"President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in our nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Only a strong statement from the nation's leader will send a message to bigots that such acts of violence targeting racial, ethnic or religious minorities are unacceptable."
Awad also urged local Muslim communities to step up security measures during the month-long fast of Ramadan, which began tonight.
CAIR is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
Earlier this week, CAIR condemned the murder of an African-American Bowie State University student by a suspect who is a member of a white supremacist group on Facebook called "Alt-Reich Nation."
SEE: CAIR Condemns Murder of Maryland College Student by Suspect with White Supremacist Links
CAIR recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.
SEE: New CAIR Report Shows More than 50 Percent Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents
Last week, CAIR released an updated report indicating that the most prevalent trigger of anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017 has been the victim's ethnicity or national origin. Eleven percent of incidents have occurred as a result of an individual being perceived as Muslim. A Muslim woman's headscarf has been a trigger in 8 percent of incidents.
SEE: CAIR's First-Quarter Civil Rights Update Shows Bias Incidents Related to 'Muslim Ban,' Federal Agencies
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)