October 12th, 2010 14:09 EST
Hate Attack on Muslim Student Federal Charges to Come?
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called for federal hate crime charges to be brought against four teenagers who allegedly taunted and attacked a Muslim classmate because of his faith.
The Muslim student at Markham Intermediate School says he was called a "terrorist," punched and spat on by the alleged attackers over a period of many months. The four alleged attackers were charged Sunday with assault and aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
SEE: Terrorized for Being a Muslim
Four Staten Island Teens Charged in Muslim Hate Crime
Muslim Teen Beaten, Called a `Terrorist` by Classmates
"We urge federal authorities to intervene in this case and to bring appropriate hate crime charges," said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. "The growing phenomenon of Islamophobia in our society must be addressed at the national level."
On Saturday, CAIR`s national headquarters announced the launch of a department devoted to addressing the alarming rise of Islamophobic sentiment in American society. The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization says anti-Islam rhetoric often leads to physical attacks on American Muslims or their institutions.
SEE: CAIR Launches Islamophobia Dept. at Sold-Out Banquet
CAIR also recently launched a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign designed to challenge growing Islamophobia in America.
SEE: American Muslims Speak Out: 9/11 Happened to Us All
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.