Sunnyvale man says his beating was hate crime

June 13, 2010 4:44:27 PM PDT
The Bay Area Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says hate crimes are on the rise and now, a Sunnyvale man is asking the FBI to investigate an attack on him.

The man is Muslim-American and says that on Friday, he was beaten by two teenagers who called him a terrorist.

"There's no doubt about it. It was a hate crime," he told ABC7.

He says he was assaulted by the teenagers around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon as he stood on Sycamore Terrace, just off El Camino Real. He was waiting for a ride and was wearing a small cap and had a Koran in his hands.

"Two youths came up to me and asked me if I was Jewish and I said, 'No, I'm Muslim,' and they said, 'Oh, so you're a terrorist,' and I go, 'No, I'm not a terrorist,'" he recalled. "And, they go, 'No, you're a terrorist.' And, they turned like they were walking away and all of sudden they just turned around and started punching me."

The man says he suffered cuts and bruises on his face and fears now for his safety.

"I was up all night looking out the windows, seeing if they followed me home," he said.

A police report was filed and pictures of his injuries were taken, but the suspects were not found.

"We're calling for investigators and police to view this as a hate crime and also we're calling for the FBI to look into this case as well," said Sameena Usman with CAIR.

The council says attacks like this are on the rise.

"We have heard of a case in Campbell where a woman was assaulted because she was Muslim. In San Diego, there was a cab driver who was beaten up," Usman said.

The man in the Sunnyvale incident was on his way to a prayer service. Police say their investigators will be actively working the case, as will the FBI.


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