CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Shooting of 'Middle Eastern' Man in Fla.

Jan 02, 2013, 13:00 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

Shooter reportedly objected to man being in company of 'white' woman

TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on the FBI to investigate a shooting attack in which the alleged perpetrator objected to a man perceived as "Middle Eastern" being in the company of a "white" woman.

CAIR-FL said the two people attacked in the incident were harassed with racial slurs as they were leaving a local Walmart at 3 a.m. today. The alleged attacker shot the man at least twice in the face with a pellet gun. Local law enforcement authorities are investigating the incident (Police Report 13-163) as a hate crime.

SEE: 'Hate Crime' Suspect Sought After Walmart Shooting
Deputies: Man Shot with Pellet Gun in Hate Crime at Pasco Walmart  

"We urge the FBI to investigate this case because it seems to fit a disturbing pattern of recent incidents targeting Muslims in Florida and nationwide," said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.

He noted that his office called for stepped-up security at mosques and Islamic schools in that state following an incident last month in which a woman carrying a sword was arrested after entering a mosque on a school campus.

Video: CAIR Calls for Stepped-Up Security at Florida Mosques After 'Sword' Incident

"More serious efforts need to be put into challenging bias attacks on any minority group in our nation," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We must all recommit ourselves to challenging hatred and intolerance in the coming year."

Awad said CAIR recently repeated its call for America's political and religious leaders to speak out forcefully against growing anti-Muslim hate in American society after a New York woman was arrested for allegedly pushing a man to his death on the tracks of a subway station because she thought he was Muslim.

Video: CAIR Calls on Nation's Leaders to Repudiate Anti-Muslim Hate 
Ex-Boyfriend Says Subway Shoving Suspect Has Long Hated Muslims  

He also cited other recent hate incidents targeting Muslims or Islam:

* A designated hate group headed by blogger Pamela Geller is placing Islamophobic advertisements in transit systems nationwide, including in New York subway stations. CAIR-NY reached out to the transit authority with concerns that the ads might incite violence.

Video: Hate Group Opposes CAIR 'MyJihad' Campaign
SEE: Pamela Geller Islamophobe Profile

* A New York man of Afghan heritage was stabbed repeatedly outside a mosque by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim comments. A friend of the victim reported that the alleged attacker said "he doesn't like Muslims."

SEE: Attacker Screamed Anti-Muslim Rant (NY Daily News)

* Two teens beat a 70-year-old New York man after asking him if he was Hindu or Muslim.

SEE: Queens Man Beaten After Being Asked If He was Hindu or Muslim

* CAIR's Cleveland office released a video highlighting anti-Muslim hate preached at a recent Tea Party event at a school in that state, which included claims that American Muslims "will kill your children" and that "we are in war with Islam."

CAIR: Tea Party Anti-Muslim Hate Comes to Ohio School

* CAIR's Ohio chapter welcomed news that the Indiana man charged with intentionally setting fire to a Toledo mosque in September pleaded guilty.

CAIR-OH Welcomes Guilty Plea in Toledo Mosque Arson

* CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area office called for increased community vigilance after a man reportedly entered a mosque in Fremont, Calif., claimed he had a gun, and threatened to kill everyone inside the house of worship.

Video: Man Enters Calif. Mosque, Threatens to Kill Everyone Inside  

* CAIR's San Antonio chapter called on federal law enforcement authorities to consider bringing charges against a man arrested for vowing to "shoot as many people as possible" at a local mosque.

Video: CAIR Seeks Federal Charges for Threat to Texas Mosque  

* In New Jersey, white supremacists faced hate crime charges for allegedly attacking several men of Egyptian descent in 2011. One of the alleged attackers wrote on a website: "(W)e went to hunt down some sand n**gers, it was me and my other bro on like 6 or eight and we whooped them."

SEE: "(W)e Went to Hunt Down Some Sand N**Gers" (Philadelphia Inquirer)

CAIR recently submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.

SEE: CAIR's Written Testimony to Senate Hearing

In advance of that hearing, CAIR issued "Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012," a report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August.

CAIR Report: Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012

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-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, E-Mail:; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations