Cabbie called 'Osama Bin Laden,' believes turban prompted bias assault
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for an attack on a Sikh taxi driver who was attacked after apparently being mistaken for a Muslim.
CAIR-SV reported that the driver was severely injured after being attacked early Sunday by two men he picked up in his taxi. He reportedly told his attackers, "I'm not Muslim." One of the attackers allegedly shouted expletives and called the driver "Osama Bin Laden," in apparent reference to the turban worn by Sikh men.
SEE: Robbery or Hate Crime? Sacramento Cabbie Severely Beaten
"No American should fear attack merely for being perceived to be Muslim," said CAIR-SV Civil Rights Coordinator Adel Syed. "The FBI and local law enforcement authorities should investigate whether this disturbing crime was motivated by anti-Muslim hate and then bring appropriate charges when and if the perpetrators are apprehended."
Yesterday, CAIR's Washington state chapter called on the FBI and state law enforcement authorities to step up protection for the region's Muslim community after an intentionally-set fire damaged a mosque in Oregon.
SEE: Fire Damages Mosque Bomb Suspect Attended
Other recent anti-Muslim incidents include an attack on a New York Muslim mother and child, the arrest of New York teens who allegedly harassed a Muslim student because of his faith and the defacement of a South Carolina mosque.
Mosques in California, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, and Florida have faced vocal opposition or have been similarly targeted by hate incidents in recent months.
CAIR's national office recently announced the launch of a department devoted to addressing the alarming rise of Islamophobic sentiment in American society.
American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to review advice on security procedures contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit
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-SV Civil Rights Coordinator Adel Syed, 916-514-2376 or 916-441-6269, ext. 102, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, 626-252-0885, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations