CAIR Calls for FBI Probe of Attack on Calif. Muslim

Jun 12, 2010, 13:03 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

Sunnyvale Muslim reportedly beaten after being call 'terrorist'

SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called on the FBI to initiate a hate crime investigation into an attack on a local Muslim allegedly beaten after being called a "terrorist."

CAIR-SFBA said the Sunnyvale, Calif., resident was walking down the street Friday afternoon when he was approached by three young men who asked him if he was Jewish. When he said he is Muslim, one of the alleged assailants reportedly responded, "That's worse, you're a terrorist." After the alleged victim tried to explain that Islam does not permit terrorism, he was reportedly punched multiple times in the face, resulting in lacerations. Police are searching for a young male suspect.

"Whenever racial, ethnic or religious slurs are used by alleged perpetrators, additional state and federal hate crime charges should be considered," CAIR-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo. "This disturbing incident shows that Jewish and Muslim Americans must continue to work together to challenge bigotry and intolerance."

SEE: Calif. Muslim, Jewish Leaders Discuss Shared Values (CAIR)

She said FBI involvement in this case would re-confirm Attorney General Eric Holder's recent commitment to prosecute hate crimes targeting American Muslims.

SEE: Holder Vows to Arab Americans to Prosecute Hate Crimes (CNN)

Last month, CAIR issued a similar call for civil rights charges after an apparent bias-motivated attack on a Muslim in San Diego. According to CAIR's San Diego chapter, a white man in his 50's reportedly shouted, "You idiot, you mother f**ker, go back to where you came from," before punching the Muslim victim.

CAIR has questioned the silence of public officials and national media about other recent attacks on Muslims nationwide, including a bombing of a Florida mosque and suspicious powder send to a Muslim in that state.

SEE: Terrorism Against Jacksonville, Florida Islamic Community Goes Under-Reported

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy said these incidents can be attributed in part to growing anti-Islam sentiment in American society.

SEE: Keith Olbermann Slams Racist NY Anti-Mosque Protesters (Video)  

Anti-Mosque Paranoia Spreads in New York (Salon)

Billoo urged American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit," and to report any similar incidents to the nearest CAIR office.

SEE: CAIR 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-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, 626-252-0885, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations