Muslim Mother Threatened by Man with Rifle in North Carolina Shopping Center

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A Muslim American woman who was sitting in the parking lot outside an Indian grocery store in Charlotte, North Carolina, nursing her baby, was allegedly threatened by a man wielding a rifle, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The mother – who wears a hijab – told the Charlotte Observer that she was sitting outside India Grocers nursing her infant when a man pulled up next to her and pointed a rifle. The woman – who is not being identified because she is scared of a backlash – said the man stared at her with a “menacing look.” She ran back inside the grocery store and asked the owner to call police. When police arrived, the man was gone.

A police report described the suspect as a white male in his 40s or 50s who was driving a red pick-up truck.

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The woman’s attorney, Mujtaba Mohammed, told the newspaper that his client was “kind of scared to come out and speak about it.”

“I mean she is distressed, she is a mother and she is worrying about her young babies,” Mohammed told the Observer, adding: “This victim can’t even go to the grocery store without having to look over her shoulder.”

Mohamed firmly believes the incident should be investigated as a hate crime.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, said the organization believes the woman was threatened because of her faith and ethnicity. CAIR has asked for a full investigation of the incident.

“North Carolina has an ethnic intimidation law and I think that would be appropriate in this situation,” said Hooper.

New America Media is partnering with the Documenting Hate Project, a collaborative of media outlets, civil rights groups and tech companies nationwide working to document the rise of hate crimes and incidents of bias or harassment in the United States since the 2016 election. If you have experienced or witnessed a hate crime or incident of bias or harassment, you can use this form to send information about the incident to the Documenting Hate Project. The form is not a report to law enforcement or any government agency. It will be used as part of a national database for use by journalists, researchers and civil rights organizations.

Read more hate crime reporting here.