Calls for hate crime probe into 3 year hate campaign on Muslim family in Maryland

25th Dec 2020
Calls for hate crime probe into 3 year hate campaign on Muslim family in Maryland

Victim of an alleged Islamophobic assault receiving medical treatment (Credit: CAIR)

Harun Nasrullah

Muslim leaders in Maryland, US, have called for a hate crime investigation after a man was assaulted in an attack believed to be part of a wider 3-year-long campaign of Islamophobic abuse targeting a family in Anne Arundel County by their neighbour.

On November 6, a male relative was leaving the family home after dinner when the neighbour, who reportedly has surveillance cameras aimed at the family’s shared driveway, emerged from his home and approached him.

The assailant allegedly proceeded to verbally and physically assault the male relative, during which the victim’s hand was sliced with an object; he also sustained an injury to his knee. Paramedics were called, and the male relative received medical treatment.

The family, who wish to remain anonymous, say the assault was part of an alleged racist and Islamophobic campaign by their neighbour which has been ongoing since 2017 and includes paintball damage to the home. At least one family member wears a hijab and is visibly Muslim.

According to the Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the neighbour has allegedly yelled slurs at the family such as “f**** Muslims,” “f**** Iranians,” and “Go back to your country.” The family has also notified police of property damage to their home and vehicles in multiple incidents.
In one reported incident, when a female relative arrived at the home for a visit, the neighbour allegedly began to chop wood with an axe in her line of sight while shouting “f**** Muslims.”

In another alleged incident, the family car window was shattered, and the body was damaged, urine and sputum were also smeared on the vehicle. When police arrived on the scene, they reportedly took samples and matched the DNA to a previous similar incident. Despite the family’s concerns and complaints, no charges were filed, nor arrests made.

“It is unconscionable that this individual was allegedly assaulted during a visit to their home. While the physical wounds heal eventually, it will take much longer to recover from the psychological trauma of this incident,” said CAIR’s Director in Maryland, Zainab Chaudry.

“The family is living in fear for their lives because of the alleged actions and behaviour of their neighbour. In addition to the physical harm and financial toll from the property damage, they are also grappling with the mental and emotional consequences of enduring a reported prolonged period of hostility, threats and intimidation,” added Chaudry.

“We call on the Anne Arundel County Police Department to conduct a hate crime investigation, assist in offering protection, and help deliver justice as swiftly as possible.”

 

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