Attack on Pregnant Muslim Woman Should Be Treated as Hate Crime, Group Says

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - An Islamic civil rights group is calling on law enforcement in Virginia to treat the assault of a pregnant Muslim woman Tuesday morning as a hate crime.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a 23-year-old Muslim woman, who is 8 months pregnant and wears an Islamic head scarf, was attacked by three white men during a morning walk in Arlington, Va.

"We believe these types of incidents are the direct result of the growing level of virulent anti-Muslim rhetoric Americans are exposed to on the Internet, in newspaper editorial pages and on radio talk shows," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, in a press release.

"Our nation's political and religious leaders must begin to challenge Islamophobic hate-mongers," added Hooper.

The men, reportedly driving a pick-up truck, allegedly screamed anti-Muslim and racist slurs at the woman, with one of them shouting, "You terrorist b- tch, go back to your country. . .You n-gger b-tch."

According to CAIR, the men drove away and then returned as she continued her walk. One of them, wearing military-style clothing allegedly got out of the vehicle, and began shoving the women and preventing her from moving away.

During the assault, one of the men allegedly shouted, "You terrorist b-tch. . . We're going to kick your a-s. . . you're nothing." The man was then called back to the truck by the others, according to CAIR.

Hooper pointed to the recent suspension of Washington, D.C., radio talk show host Michael Graham for saying "Islam is a terrorist organization" as an example of the "anti-Muslim rhetoric" that has fueled incidents like the one in Virginia.

Hooper also noted that an Illinois man was arrested last Friday for threatening to bomb CAIR's Capitol Hill headquarters.

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