Organization requests hate crime probe after Charlotte Muslim woman threatened
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has asked authorities to investigate a possible hate crime against a Muslim woman in Charlotte.
The woman, who was wearing a hijab and an abaya, told officers that she was nursing her 1-month-old child Tuesday afternoon in her car in a shopping center parking lot off University City Boulevard.
She said a man in his 40s or 50s, driving a pickup truck, pulled into a parking space next to her, stared at her for an extensive period of time, then reached in the back seat of the truck and pulled out a rifle. The woman told officers that the man pointed the gun at her.
“It’s clear she was targeted because of her perceived religious background,” said CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.
She went into a nearby store and called police as the man sped away from the scene.
Customers who shop at the Indian grocery store where the incident happened have been worried something like this would happen to them.
In the past month, Indian Americans have been attacked in three high-profile cases across the US. The most recent case happened in Lancaster County when a businessman was shot to death when he got home from work.
“That’s why we are coming in a group. We are very much afraid to go alone scared,” an Indian mother told Channel 9 outside the grocery store in University City on Thursday morning.
“We ask law enforcement authorities to use all resources available to apprehend the alleged perpetrator and to bring all appropriate charges, including that of ethnic intimidation,” Hooper said.
North Carolina law prohibits ethnic intimidation based on race, color, religion, nationality or country of origin.
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