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.
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.