Following a local television report stating that someone beat and cut a Muslim woman on Milwaukee's south side early Monday - after demanding she take off her hijab, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for a hate crimes investigation. Similar calls are coming from the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, Voces de la Frontera and the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
According to a report on WITI-TV, the woman was walking home from a prayer service when a man exited a vehicle near the Islamic Center on 13th and Layton and ordered her to remove her Islamic head scarf. When she resisted, he reportedly ripped off the hijab, beat her and cut her jacket and arm. The coalition says the victim is a single mother in her 50s, and she was hospitalized afterward, for 24 hours.
CAIR says such attacks on American Muslims have become nearly a daily occurrence.
Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic released a statement reading in part, "It's a sad day in America when we have to remind each other that this country was founded on religious freedom. It's clear from the account of the survivor that Monday’s attack on a Muslim woman was a hate crime and motivated by a hatred for her religious beliefs. That's why I've reached out to District Attorney Chisholm and encouraged him to prosecute this despicable act as a hate crime."
Fellow Supervisor Jason Haas, who represents the neighborhood, is urging residents to cooperate with police. "I'm extremely concerned about the safety and well-being of our Muslim neighbors. The brazen attack that occurred early Monday was not just an attack on one person, or on the Muslim community - it is an attack on all of us who cherish our freedoms as Americans. I want to express my sympathy to the woman who was attacked and her family, I urge anyone with information about this despicable act to come forward and speak to police. The person who committed this act must be apprehended so that all of us, especially our Muslim neighbors, can feel safe again," Haas said via a statement to constituents.