Islamic leaders are questioning Virginia detectives’ insistence that the beating death of a teenage Muslim girl appears to have been a case of road rage, saying the attack looks all too much like a hate crime.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, was bludgeoned with a baseball bat early Sunday by a motorist who drove up to about 15 Muslim teenagers as they walked or bicycled along a road, Fairfax County police said. A Hassanen family spokesman said all the girls in the group were wearing Muslim headscarves and robes.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said there is a strong possibility the crime wouldn’t have happened if the teenagers weren’t Muslim. CAIR called on Muslim communities to increase security during the holy month of Ramadan in light of the young woman’s murder and a string of other attacks in America and in Britain.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Muslim religious leaders say they were asked to leave a commercial airliner after being cleared by security agents and boarded the plane for an 8:40 a.m. flight on Friday in Memphis. They were told it was because the pilot refused to fly with them aboard.
Masudur Rahman, who is also an adjunct instructor of Arabic at the University of Memphis, said by phone from the terminal at Memphis International Airport that he and another imam had already been allowed to board their Delta Connection flight to Charlotte, N.C., before they were asked to get off the plane.
Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jon Allen in Atlanta confirmed the incident and said it was not initiated by that agency.
Both passengers are Memphis-area residents. Rahman said he was dressed in traditional Indian clothing and his traveling companion was dressed in Arab garb, including traditional headgear.
Ibrahim Hooper, of the American-Islamic organization, said the group will follow up with the airline and with the TSA to help ensure such incidents do not continue to occur.
Hooper said airline officials at Memphis tried to resolve the situation, but the pilot refused.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Pew’s findings back up his own group’s research. He blamed a “vocal minority” in the U.S. for fanning anti-Muslim bias with increasingly harsh rhetoric since 9/11.
“Unfortunately, people have focused on that tiny, tiny minority of Muslims who have carried out violent acts, and claim to act in the name of Islam,” he said. “Ninety-nine point nine, nine percent of all Muslims will live and die without coming near an act of violence.” Jay Lindsay reports.
The editors of a new book with compiled testimonies of ex-Muslims say they were not surprised when the Council on American-Islamic Relations attacked their work, without first reading the anthology. However, the group was shocked that the New York Daily News characterized CAIR as the voice of moderate Muslims. The compilation, titled Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out was criticized by CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper, weeks before the book’s release. Hooper is quoted as saying: This book is put out by WND Publishing [sic], which promotes hate every day on its extremist anti-Muslim hate site. Hooper also made false assertions that the company’s editor suggested air-dropping pig’s blood over Afghanistan – claim which CAIR’s lawyer retracted.