CAIR-NJ Condemns Assault on Muslim Girls at Nail Salon, Welcomes Investigation
(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 5/25/22) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today condemned an allegedly bias-motivated assault on Muslim girls and women at a nail salon in Clifton, N.J.
CAIR-NJ also welcomed an ongoing investigation led by the Clifton Police Department.
On Saturday, April 30, two Muslim girls, 15 and 13-years-old who wear hijabs (Islamic head scarves), reported that while they were waiting to get their nails done a white woman began shouting at them for “staring at her.” The woman allegedly shouted profanities at the Muslim girls “to go back to their f-ing country you two little punks,” and that “they do not belong here.”
The woman then reportedly hit the 13-year-old Muslim girl on the head. Before leaving the salon, the woman, assuming another hijab wearing Muslim woman in the salon was the girls’ mother, berated her as well, shouting profanities and racist remarks.
The mother of the two girls returned to the salon to find her two daughters crying. When the mother approached the alleged attacker in the parking lot and asked her why she had assaulted her daughters, the alleged attacker reportedly shouted, “go f-ing away from here” and other profanities.
The Muslim mother took pictures of the license plate and the vehicle. When she returned to the salon, other customers corroborated the story told to her by her two daughters, confirming that the two girls did nothing to provoke the woman. The police were then called to the scene.
On Monday, May 2 Clifton police called and asked that the daughters to come to the station. The family went to the station on Tuesday to provide their statements. The Clifton police were also interviewing other witnesses who had been at the salon and saw what happened.
In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:
“We are deeply troubled by this alleged bias-motivated behavior. Physically and verbally attacking two young girls to the point of tears is appalling. We welcome the ongoing police investigation by Clifton officers and hope the matter is taken seriously and justice is done.”
Maksut noted that earlier today, CAIR condemned alleged Islamophobic and racist harassment targeting a Muslim hockey player.
He noted that last month, CAIR released its latest report on the civil rights of American Muslims, titled “Still Suspect: The Impact of Structural Islamophobia,” detailing more than 6,700 civil rights complaints the Washington, D.C., based group received in the past year.
“This is an alarming sign that Islamophobia is persistent and systemic in society and government policy,” said Nihad Awad, CAIR National’s Executive Director. “While we recognize that we’ve made progress as a society in terms of addressing social injustices, our report shows that Islamophobia continues to pose the biggest threat American Muslims are facing.”
“This points toward a still rising trend of Islamophobia, or alternatively, CAIR-NJ still reaching the capacity to address the greater, true amount of Islamophobia,” CAIR-New Jersey said in its report. Additionally, CAIR-New Jersey noted that the data does not comprise all incidents of Islamophobia happening in the Garden State, “but reflects a good sample data of the New Jersey population.”
Of New Jersey’s 104 reports, 41 cases, or 39.4%, involved discrimination; 22 cases, or 21.2%, involved law enforcement; and 14 cases, or 13.5%, involved hate and bias, CAIR-New Jersey said.
CAIR-NJ Report: https://cair-nj.org/2022-report/
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.