Rights group asks FBI probe into apparent bias attack on Florida Muslim

Thursday, January 03, 2013
Tampa, Florida: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on the FBI to investigate a shooting attack in which the alleged perpetrator objected to a man perceived as "Middle Eastern" being in the company of a "white" woman.

In a news release, CAIR’s Florida chapter said the two people attacked in the incident were harassed with “racial slurs” as they were leaving a local Walmart at 3 a.m. yesterday.

The alleged attacker shot the man at least twice in the face with a pellet gun. Local law enforcement authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

"We urge the FBI to investigate this case because it seems to fit a disturbing pattern of recent incidents targeting Muslims in Florida and nationwide," said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.

Shibly noted that his office called for stepped-up security at mosques and Islamic schools in that state following an incident last month in which a woman carrying a sword was arrested after entering a mosque on a school campus.
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