(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 6/4/2017) –The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) held a news conference today to call on law enforcement authorities to investigate an attack yesterday on a Muslim woman in that city as a possible hate crime and to urge police to arrest the alleged assailant. 

The woman, who reportedly intervened to protect another Muslim woman from harassment by the alleged attacker – a white male – was beaten unconscious, resulting in facial fractures and the loss of several teeth. According to the victim, the alleged attacker reportedly screamed “you all will be shipped back to Africa” prior to beating. CAIR-Columbus attorneys are representing her in the case.

According to witnesses, the alleged attacker was interviewed by police, but released without charge. He had reportedly made racist statements to neighbors in the recent past.

“The fact that the perpetrator was not taken into custody and was not charged raises serious concerns and sends a very dangerous message,” said Jennifer Nimer, Executive Director of CAIR-Columbus and one of the attorneys for the victim.  “After what happened last week in Portland, police across the country should be sending a strong message that hate crimes will not be tolerated.  We are asking law enforcement to investigate this as a hate crime and to bring the perpetrator to justice immediately before he commits another act of violence.”

CAIR-Columbus also asked that any additional witnesses come forward with information by calling 614-451-3232 or emailing jnimer@cair.com.   CAIR is also encouraging anyone who experiences a hate crime locally to report it immediately by filing an incident report at www.cair-columbus.com.

The victim’s sister spoke about how the family is still in shock from the incident, and are especially concerned for the victim’s young son.

Local Somali leaders also spoke about the need for the Somali community to feel protected and to see justice served.

A third party has set up a fundraising page to assist in the victim’s medical expenses.  She will reportedly need a few weeks to recover.

GO TO: https://www.launchgood.com/project/stand_with_sister_rahma#/

CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election.

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Columbus Legal Director Romin Iqbal, 614-783-7953, riqbal@cair.com; CAIR-Columbus Executive Director Jennifer Nimer, 614-946-9675.  CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com


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