When Being Mistaken for Muslim Can Get You Stabbed

(updated – below)

The Hindustan Times reports that a Sikh individual was stabbed in an unprovoked attack at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.  A hate crime is suspected.  It is very common for anti-Muslim bigots to confuse Sikhs, who wear conspicuous turbans, for Muslims–a confusion that is symbolically representative of the profound ignorance that underlies Islamophobia.

Sikh man stabbed at US airport, hate crime suspected
Associated Press
Fresno, California, December 07, 2011

A Sikh man waiting for a plane at Fresno Yosemite International Airport has been stabbed in a seemingly unprovoked attack, police said. The victim was treated at the airport and boarded his flight bound for India. Fresno police said Mitchell Dufur, 26, stabbed the Sikh man in his 50s in the upper torso Sunday evening in the security area. No words were exchanged before the attack. The man was standing with his translator when the attack occurred.

Dufur was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a knife in an airport.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday urged the FBI and police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

“Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims,” said Sacramento CAIR executive director Basim Elkarra.

Gina Swankie in the Sacramento FBI office said her office was having “a dialogue with the group,” but would not confirm whether they had opened an investigation.

Police Lt Don Gross said investigators have not determined whether it was a hate crime because Dufur has refused to talk to police about his motive.

Two elderly men were earlier gunned down in Sacramento on March 4 while walking through a neighbourhood in Elk Grove.

Update I:

Ahmed Rehab tweeted about a second stabbing, another possible hate crime.  Rehab tweeted:

An Indian American Law professor at #UIUC (unconfirmed) stabbed at train station by a man yelling “This is MY country”

The story is still unfolding, but is being reported here:

University faculty member stabbed in alleged hate crime

A faculty member from the College of Law was stabbed Wednesday on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the report, officers found Joshua Scaggs, 23, and the 41-year-old victim, a professor at the University.

The suspect was lying on the floor face-down near a utility knife, and the victim was sitting in a chair bleeding profusely.

“One of our faculty members was involved in that incident,” said John Colombo, assistant dean at the College of Law. “I can’t confirm (the name) to anyone outside of the College of Law community.”

Police took Scaggs into custody. A witness said Scaggs and the victim were seated in the waiting area when Scaggs suddenly jumped up and shouted that this was his country. He then attacked the victim, who is a non-white male.

Scaggs grabbed the victim around the neck and appeared to be choking him. He then forced the victim to the floor. The witness then pulled the suspect off of the male.

Scaggs was issued a $500,000 bond Thursday, according to the Champaign County Clerk’s office.

The 41-year-old victim, of Champaign, was transported to the Carle Hospital emergency room. Scaggs was later arrested on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime and transported to the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

Can you imagine if two Christian or Jewish-Americans were stabbed by Muslims in separate incidents?  What do you think the reaction of the media would have been?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: