December 27th, 2010 11:53 EST
"You Don't Belong Here in the U.S."
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to bring hate crime charges against an Idaho man who allegedly threatened a Muslim woman while she was shopping Wednesday at a Walmart in that state.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the Twin Falls, Idaho, man allegedly approached the woman, who wore an Islamic headscarf and was with her two children, and asked if she was Muslim. When the woman said she is Muslim, the assailant reportedly told her he spent time in Iraq and "my friends were killed by you, I was blown up by you."
According to court records, the alleged assailant also shouted that the woman "didn`t belong here in the U.S." and claimed he had killed Muslims and planned to kill more. He also reportedly told the Muslim woman that he had a concealed weapon. A loaded weapon was later found in the man`s car.
The 42-year-old man was arraigned Thursday on a charge of felony malicious harassment.
Video: Idaho Man Arrested for Threatening Muslim Woman
Twin Falls Man Arrested for Allegedly Harassing Muslim
"Concrete steps need to be taken by public officials and law enforcement authorities at both the state and national levels to stem the increasing attacks we are seeing on ordinary American Muslims," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Silence in the face of rising anti-Muslim sentiment in our nation is taken as tacit support by bigots."
Hooper noted that earlier this week, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate an apparently bias-motivated attack on a Muslim woman outside an Ohio mosque as a hate crime.
CAIR: Muslim Woman Reports Attack in Car
CAIR`s Michigan office reported that mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim organizations in that state have been receiving hate mailings. Similar anti-Muslim hate mail was received by an Ohio mosque.
Video: Metro Detroit Mosques Receive Hate Mail (CAIR)
Video: Ohio Mosque Received Anti-Muslim E-Mail (CAIR)
CAIR`s Washington state chapter called for a hate crime investigation into the harassment of a Muslim woman in Oregon.
CAIR: Group Calls for Investigation Into Gresham Hate Crime
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.