Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Muslim leaders allege hate crime in Detroit


November 28, 2006

By Niraj Warikoo

Free Press Staff Writer

In what Muslim leaders are calling a hate crime, a 51-year-old Arab-American Muslim said he was beaten up at his Detroit home by a group of men who repeatedly swore at him and told him to "go back to where you came from."

Shafik Shoaib, a U.S. citizen born in Egypt, was allegedly attacked at his home in Detroit on Piedmont Monday night, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The assailants were a group of about 10 people who were white, Walid said. While beating him, members of the group used slurs and swear words, saying things such as "You're a (expletive) Arab," "You're a (expletive) Muslim," and "You're not a (expletive) American."

At one point, one assailant said that his "great great grandfather was born in America...you're not an American," according to Walid.

Walid said he was with Shoaib when he told his story to Detroit police today.
Shoaib's wife and kids were in the house during the attack, Walid said.

They also threatened to burn down his house. According to Walid, Detroit police are investigating the case and have made one arrest.

Shoaib said some of the people in the group, which included men and women, had been loitering around in the area in the past, smoking and drinking.

Shoaib was taken to Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn for treatment before police arrived at the scene. Shoaib said that his family had called Detroit Police five times during the attack, but no one responded before the ambulance took him to the hospital.

"Based upon the slurs that were stated during the attack, it appears these people have deep-seated Islamophobia in their hearts," Walid said. "We're extremely concerned about the assault, but we're also troubled by the extremely slow response time from the Detroit Police department."

Walid said that Shoaib suffered head contusions, lacerations, a busted nose, blackened eyes, torso bruises, and sprained knees.

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