Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fwd: [bangla-vision] Muslim Woman Attacked in Columbus, Ohio

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Date: Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 11:55 AM
Subject: [bangla-vision] Muslim Woman Attacked in Columbus, Ohio


11006 Veirs Mill Rd, STE L-15, PMB 298
Silver Spring, MD. 20902
(December 23, 2010)
Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):
The combination of a multitude of manufactured evils - i.e. two profit-driven wars; economic and social pressures at home; the media-facilitated demonization of an entire faith community; the self-serving manipulations of crass politicians; and a Muslim-American population that not only refuses to push back with the type of vigor required by the challenges of our time, but a community that has been largely cowed into complicity - must all share the blame for an atmosphere that is becoming more dangerous (for all of us) with each passing day! 
When a Muslim woman is brazenly attacked IN BROAD DAYLIGHT (in the middle of the afternoon) in a large mid-western city, and the demented perpetrator gets away, you know things are bad. Committed Muslims in America (especially), and non-Muslims of good will, had better wake up to certain realities before it's too late!
A diverse coalition of concerned citizens, led in large part by committed Muslims, are planning a demonstration for next month (January) in Washington, DC. We want to draw attention to this corrosive atmosphere, and to the material impact that it's having on Muslim families and communities throughout this disturbed land. The question is, are YOU willing to stand with us?!
A stand for Truth and Justice, is a stand for the better of the Two Americas!
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
FBI investigates reported assault on Muslim woman

Tuesday, December 21, 2010  11:48 AM

Updated: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 03:44 PM

The Columbus Dispatch
Saida J. Said at today's press conference.

The FBI has opened a preliminary investigation into an alleged hate crime after a Muslim woman said she was harassed and pepper-sprayed outside a West Side mosque yesterday.

The 20-year-old Grove City woman, who has lived in central Ohio for more than 10 years, met with FBI officials in Columbus this morning. This afternoon she appeared at a news conference at the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Bethel Road.

Saida J. Said, a Somali native who dresses in traditional Muslim garb, said she was stopped in her car at an intersection on Sullivant Avenue about 1:30 p.m. yesterday when she noticed a white man watching her. The man followed her to a bank, then into the parking lot outside the Abubakar Siddique Islamic Center on Sullivant Avenue.

After she parked, the man stopped his white SUV behind her. He got out and pepper-sprayed Said through her car window and yelled racial slurs and profanities, she said.

The man then drove off.

The incident was caught on the mosque's surveillance camera. Columbus police are still investigating.

By Tom Brockman
Published: December 21, 2010
Updated: December 21, 2010 - 10:24 PM

The FBI has opened a preliminary civil rights investigation in the case of a 20-year-old woman who says she was the victim of a hate crime. It all stems from an alleged incident that happened on the city's west side and was caught on camera.

The woman, who did not want to give her identity to NBC4, said the incident has left her terrified. "I was attacked by a man I didn't know and he just wanted to hurt me," she said.

The alleged incident took place behind the Abubakar Siddique Islamic Center on Sullivant Avenue. Surveillance video shows the woman, who is a Somali immigrant, driving into the parking lot and parking her car. Then a second SUV drives up and parks directly behind her. Video shows a man getting out of the second SUV and walking up to the woman's car. That's where this story takes a violent turn.

"He threatened me," she said. "He said he will kill me and he said 'All you Muslims, go back to wherever you're from. Don't think you can rule this country. You can't.' He said, 'This is my country.'"

She said the man then sprayed her in the face with pepper spray. "At first, I was like blinded through everything. I couldn't see," she said.

After being fought off by the woman, the attacker fled the scene. Video shows the woman holding her eyes. She said she noticed the man following her and thought she'd be safe outside a place of worship.

Those with the Islamic center say this is not the first act of hate they've experienced since the mosque was opened in 2004, which is why a video camera was watching.

"The reason we have surveillance cameras in the past couple years, the same incident has taken place, not a similar incident, where you basically have people attacking the mosque, breaking glass outside the mosque, writing 'kill all Arabs' across the mosque," said Romin Iqbal with the Columbus Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Tuesday afternoon, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate. The FBI said they have spoken with the victim. 

"This young lady was attacked because she was bearing an Islamic dress and she identified herself as a Muslim," said Iqbal.

While the burn from the pepper spray has worn off, the sting from the reality of what the woman says happened to her lingers on.

"I can never forget about this man. Right now, while I'm standing in front of you, I still visualize him. I feel like he is still in this room and I'm afraid, like he's just going to come at me," she said.

FBI spokesman Mike Brooks says results of their investigation will be turned over to the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

For additional information, stay with NBC 4 and refresh

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Palash Biswas
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