MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR-CHICAGO CALLS FOR PROBE OF HATE CRIME AGAINST MUSLIM MOTHER AND DAUGHTER
(CHICAGO, IL, 8/12/16) -- The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today calls on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an attack on a Muslim mother and daughter Thursday morning in West Rogers Park as a hate crime.
Video footage of the incident shows the attacker shouting obscene and Islamophobic slurs such as “f**king b*tch” and “f**k you ISIS b*tch” at the Muslim women while they were sitting in a vehicle. The attacker tried to enter the vehicle, but finding the doors locked, kicked the vehicle and smashed the side view mirror while the women inside sat terrified and screaming.
As the attacker walked away, she continued to yell derogatory, misogynistic and Islamophobic slurs at the Muslim women. One of the women inside the car asked, “What did we ever do to you?” and the attacker replied “You’re ISIS, b*tch!”
The mother and daughter reported that their attacker spit on, harassed and yelled at them repeatedly while they were walking to their vehicle that morning. The daughter, Suzanne Damra, informed CAIR-Chicago that the attacker had been verbally harassing them for about a month before she turned violent in this latest incident “We were bothered and scared by her harassment but did not expect it to turn violent until today, and now we are very worried,” she said.
While the incident was unfolding, the Muslim mother and daughter say that rather than stepping in to help, a couple of men walking by laughed and cheered on the attacker, one of them high-fived the attacker.
“This attack is clearly a hate crime rooted deeply in Islamophobia--and it must be treated as such,” said Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago. “The attacker targeted the victims due to their religion and did so violently. Therefore, we call on local, state and federal authorities to investigate the bias motive behind this assault as a hate crime.”
Rehab said this attack comes during a time of heightened Islamophobia, which has spiked since the first presidential nominees were announced for the current election cycle.
“Things were never this bad since 9/11. I think that a lot of this has to do with the fact that Donald Trump is running for presidency and he is encouraging a climate of hate against Muslims,” Damra told CAIR-Chicago. “I don’t think that this is acceptable and I don’t think that this hate should be encouraged or go unchallenged.”
CAIR-Chicago also asks the Muslim community to continue to report any bias or hate incidents to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 312.212.1520 or online at http://www.cairchicago.org/report-discrimination/