SEATTLE, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) called on the FBI to investigate an apparent anti-Muslim hate attack on a Sikh taxi driver in that state.
The driver was allegedly attacked by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs after he commented on the cabbie's turban. [NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.]
The perpetrator reportedly referred to the victim as Iranian and Iraqi, and used several anti-Arab slurs during the attack, which witnesses described as "savage."
According to police, the alleged assailant tore out chunks of the man's beard and loosened one of the driver's teeth.
Police: Anti-Muslim Bigot Beat Sikh Cab Driver
"This vicious attack needs to be addressed by the FBI and federal prosecutors in the context of growing anti-Sikh and anti-Muslim prejudice nationwide," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "We have asked the FBI to open a federal hate crime investigation into this case."
Earlier this month, CAIR-WA held a news conference in Seattle to call for a more thorough investigation of an emailed bomb threat sent last month to a mosque in the Seattle area.
Video: CAIR-WA Asks FBI to Arrest Man Who Sent Bomb Threat to Mosque
CAIR has in the past spoken out against bias-motivated attacks on American Sikhs.
Last year, CAIR offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who gunned down two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, Calif.
In 2010, CAIR called for an FBI investigation of an attack on a Sikh cab driver in West Sacramento, Calif. The driver said his passengers made anti-Muslim remarks during the attack. Two men were later arrested on charges of felony assault and commission of a hate crime.
American Muslim institutions have been targeted during a recent spike in hate incidents. A mosque in Ohio was recently targeted by an armed arsonist.
Video: CAIR Director Speaks at Interfaith Rally for Burned Ohio Mosque
In September, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate hate vandalism at mosques in Virginia and New York. In August, CAIR asked authorities to investigate a suspicious fire at a mosque in Minnesota.
CAIR: Burned Mosque to be Constructed Inside Joplin City Limits
CAIR Report: Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012
CAIR: Anti-Muslim Attacks Continue
Also last month, CAIR submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.
SEE: CAIR's Written Testimony to Senate Hearing
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: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081, 206-931-3655, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)