Another hate crime that wasn’t and the media is caught in more #FakeNews.
“In this attack of the Muslim woman, we know of no evidence that would indicate that this attack was anything but a hate crime,” Munjed Ahmad, a lawyer for the woman and board member of American Muslims for Palestine, claimed at a press conference held on April 14, four days after the 58-year-old woman was assaulted while walking home from prayer services at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.
But police incident reports, obtained by TheDC through an open records request, paint a different picture.
The documents show that in the days after her April 10 attack, the woman told detectives that she “disagreed” with media reports claiming that she was the victim of a hate crime attack.
The woman, whose name is redacted in police reports, told investigators that she did not believe she was attacked because she is Muslim. Instead, she suspected that the assault had something to do with her estranged daughter, who had just divorced her husband and entered a relationship with another woman.
Despite those statements to police, Ahmad and groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition and the left-wing Jewish Voice for Peace, all called the incident a hate crime. Milwaukee government officials echoed the claim.
“I call for this to be investigated and prosecuted as a hate crime,” Milwaukee county supervisor Jason Haas said at the April 14 press conference organized by Ahmad, who is also a board member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.
“It concerns us tremendously because what we’re seeing again is specifically attacks and hate targeting Muslim women,” Janan Najeeb, the president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, said at the event.
According to the incident reports, the woman told police that her attacker pulled up beside her in a car while she was walking home from a 6 a.m. prayer service at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, the city’s largest mosque.
The woman, who suffers from epilepsy, said that the man called her over to his vehicle.
“I don’t know you,” she told the man. He responded as he approached: “but I know who you are.”
The woman said that the man, who was described as Hispanic and in his 20s, grabbed her and threw her to the ground and began to strike her in the head and body. Nothing was stolen during the attack, said the woman, who went to the hospital and was interviewed by police that day and several days after.
On April 12, a Milwaukee police detective visited the woman at her home. By that point, the attack had been reported in the news, and civil rights groups had started calling the incident a hate crime.
But during the police interview, the victim disputed the hate crime claims.
“They wanted to make it clear they did not contact the media, they were not the source categorizing this as a ‘hate crime’ and disagreed with the assessment,” reads the police incident report.
During a police interview the next day, the woman said again that she did not believe she was targeted because of her religion. She also said that her attacker did not try to take her hijab, as had been reported in the press.
“[Redacted] stated she does not feel she was attacked because she is Muslim. It should be noted that contrary to what was reported on the news, according to [redacted], the man who attacked her did not try to take her hijab,” the incident report reads.
In her April 13 police interview, the woman again said that she believed the assault was linked to her daughter.
“She stated she doesn’t approve of her daughter’s lifestyle and she is appalled by the fact that her daughter recently left her husband and she is now in a lesbian relationship with another woman,” the report reads.
“She feels that is why she was targeted.”
Who would even know that the non-English speaking Muslim’s daughter left her husband and was dating a woman? Most likely someone in her immediate family or her mosque. And who would be best able to time her walk home from the mosque? Likely someone from the mosque.
This occurred in Milwaukee, where last week a Muslim threatened the courthouse – “I’m gonna kill you all. Allah. Bomb.” Forced diversity, ain’t it grand?