CAIR: Investigate attack on Muslim women as hate crime

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Friday, August 12, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on state and federal law enforcement to investigate an attack on two Muslim women in West Rogers Park as a hate crime.

Officials at the Chicago chapter of CAIR said the attack comes at a time of heightened Islamophobia, which they said has spiked since this year's presidential nominees were announced.

Chicago Police are investigating after the women, a mother and her daughter, reported being harassed and physically attacked early Thursday morning.

Suzanne Damra said a woman targeted her and her mother because they are Muslim and wearing hijabs. They said the woman yelled, spit, and harassed them while they were walking to Damra's car around 6:15 a.m.

Once inside their car, Damra started recording on her phone. The video provided by Damra shows a woman trying to open both car doors on the passenger's side, and then tugging at the side mirror.

While Damra and her mother screamed at the attacker, the woman can be heard on the video yelling: "**** you, ISIS! **** you, ISIS!"

The woman then kicked the car and yelled, "You're ISIS, *****!"

Damra said the woman has been harassing and calling her names for about a month, but she said she didn't think anything of it until it turned physical.

Damra's mother, Siham Zahdan, blames today's political climate, specifically GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"To Donald Trump is to leave the Muslim people in America alone, leave us alone," Zahdan said.

Both women decided to speak out Thursday because they're worried other Muslims might be attacked as well. They hope citizens will step forward when seeing harassment first-hand.

During the alleged attack, the women said two men nearby did not help them. Instead, they said one of the men high-fived the alleged attacker.

At this point, no arrests have been made. Chicago Police said they are investigating this alleged crime as a simple assault.

CAIR is also asking the Muslim community to continue to report any bias or hate incidents to their Civil Rights Department at 312-212-1520 or line at