A Muslim mother and her 2-year-old child in Arlington, Texas were attacked in their car by a screaming woman and her adult sons. The victim's sister, Talla Bitar took to Facebook to express her outrage over the incident.
Bitar's sister, who was wearing a hijab, alleges that she stopped at a red light only to see a woman in her 50s or 60s and 20 to 30-year-old sons step out of their car behind her before screaming through her windows, shaking the car and pounding on the windows. The woman then called the police as the family pursued her on the road, hurled threats at her family and attempted to attack as they waited for the officer.
Bitar posted that when the police arrived, the officer's response was not only less than helpful but actually put her sister in greater danger as the officer gave the assailants the victim's home address.
"When the officer finally arrived, the attackers hid in their car, and acted like nothing had happened." Bitar wrote, "They claimed my sister hit their car and ruined their tire. The cop saw my sister crying, he saw my 2 year old niece screaming, he saw, and admitted that there was no damage and that their car was completely FINE...He reported it as a 'misunderstanding', and even GAVE THE ATTACKERS A COPY OF MY SISTERS INSURANCE WHICH INCLUDED HER HOME ADDRESS. Let me repeat: He literally gave the attacker the address of the victim."
As Trump increases his Islamophobic rhetoric, cases of violence towards Muslims are in even more need of police consideration. According to Georgetown University, hate crimes against Muslims have become more common and more violent since Trump's campaign began.
In May 2016, a Tulsa man named Khalid Jabara was killed by his neighbor minutes after police claimed there was "nothing to be done" about the man who had threatened Jabara with a gun. Stanley Vernon Majors, 61, had been threatening Jabara's family for years, leading Khalid's mother, Haifa Jabara, to file a restraining order against their neighbor in 2013. Majors was arrested by police for violating that restraining order but was permitted to leave police custody on bond a mere 10 weeks before he would murder his Lebanese neighbor.
"Trump's rhetoric might sound harmless to some, but the racism and islamophobia [sic] his words spread are dangerously real." Bitar wrote on Facebook. "Even if (and when) he loses this election, most of the damage has already been done."
Communities across the US have long called for more sensitivity training within police departments to address issues of discrimination which can be more insidious than other law enforcement tasks. From allegations of profiling Muslim Americans to not doing enough to follow up on hate crime claims, Muslim American communities are calling on police departments to improve how cases of Islamophobic hate crimes are handled, especially with the inflammatory language being used by the GOP presidential candidate.
Banner image credit: Reuters