Hate Crime Victims Must Speak Out, Muslim Group Says | KUOW News and Information

Hate Crime Victims Must Speak Out, Muslim Group Says

Mar 19, 2015

A Muslim advocacy group in Seattle wants the FBI to investigate a possible hate crime against a woman in SeaTac. The group says it’s concerned about a recent spate of similar incidents, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

TRANSCRIPT:

At a news conference, Arsalan Bukhari listed off some of these recent reports:

Bukhari: “February of this year we saw a swastika and the words 'Muslims get out.' Then later that same week ...."

Bukhari heads the Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). It’s pressed the feds to investigate several recent incidents, including this latest one in SeaTac.

Bukhari: “The public needs to hear a strong message from law enforcement. Anyone who engages in hate attacks will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

SeaTac police are now investigating a report from an Ethiopian mother named Asha Gobana. She said she was outside a 7-Eleven store earlier this month when a man made anti-Muslim comments, then pointed a gun at her.

Gobana: “And I say, 'Oh, it’s happen to me today. It’s my last day to see my kids.'”

The man allegedly told Gobana that all Muslims are killers and that he doesn’t trust them.

Gobana: “I can’t even answer when he say f-word, and he’s holding the gun … and he’s showing his … I can’t even talk what happened to me in that time. I’m completely shocked.”

Gobana says her life has changed since the attack. She’s afraid to walk anywhere. And she no longer lets her kids ride the city bus.

Staff at CAIR point to something fairly uncommon in Gobana’s case. She came forward and involved the police. They say many people with similar stories don’t, because of fear or a belief that it’s pointless.

Reports of hate crimes in the state have steadily increased in recent years. To change that, Arsalan Bukhari says it’s vital for victims to speak out.