Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hate Crimes: Anti-Muslim Slurs Used in Attack on Oregon Muslim Inmate

The Washington State chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for an attack on a Muslim inmate in Oregon, which reportedly included the use of anti-Muslim slurs by the alleged assailant.

CAIR-WA also asked the FBI and state law enforcement authorities to determine whether the assault on the inmate in a Portland jail was prompted by a recent FBI sting operation in which a Muslim teen was arrested in that city. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is investigating the assault as a possible hate crime. Portland is the county seat.

"While the Muslim community has repeatedly condemned any and all actions that would threaten our nation's safety and security, American Muslims continue to experience backlash from events like the Portland sting operation," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "Unfortunately, it appears that the sting has resulted in further stigmatization of the American Muslim community."

"We urge public officials to speak out against the growing anti-Muslim sentiment that is being promoted by a vocal minority in our society," added Bukhari.

The FBI is currently investigating another incident in which Idaho prison guards may have violated the civil rights of a Muslim inmate beaten into a coma last January.

Last weekend, CAIR-WA called for stepped-up protection for the region's Muslim community after an intentionally-set fire damaged a mosque in Oregon. The FBI has offered a reward for information in the case.

On Monday, CAIR's Sacramento Valley chapter 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.

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.

American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to review advice on security procedures contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."

Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

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