Group calls for hate crime investigation after Muslim woman says she was attacked

MILWAUKEE -- Standing together against hate. Those from various religious groups and civil rights organizations gathered Friday, April 14th to show support after an incident on Monday, April 10th. It's an incident they want investigated as a hate crime.

The Muslim woman told police on Monday, a man ran up to her as she was leaving early morning prayer at the mosque near South 13th and Layton. She says he wanted to grab her hijab, or Islamic scarf, from her head.

Muslim woman allegedly attacked on Milwaukee's south side

"The woman had never seen him before and all the evidence indicates the attacker's only motive was a hate crime," said Munjed Ahmad, Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

Muslim woman allegedly attacked on Milwaukee's south side

Representatives from the area's religious, civic and immigration rights groups gathered in support with the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

"There has been a dramatic increase in attacks against Muslim women in hijab, most often by men. This again is indicative of the fact that they look Muslim based on their dress, and it has really shaken the sense of safety and security," said Janen Najeeb, Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition.

Janen Najeeb

From Lutheran, to Jewish, to Latino, to government leaders -- they gathered to ask that the crime be investigated as a hate crime.

"If it turns out not to be a hate crime, great, that's what we want. It would make our community feel a lot safer. Our position is that we would like law enforcement to start with this being a hate crime and if it turns out not to be a hate crime, we're OK with that. We'd actually be very happy with that," said Ahmad.

Munjed Ahmad

The woman at the focus of the attack police are investigating, is reportedly shaken, but recovering. The violence, however, has shaken the community.

When asked about extra security or patrols, the Islamic Society did not wish to share their plans.