October 24, 2023

The Council on American Islamic Relations Sacramento Valley/Central California (CAIR-SV/CC) is deeply concerned about recent incidents that occurred at a pro-Palestine rally in Fresno this past weekend.   

During this event, a man driving a truck was seen yelling at Palestine supporters, making shooting gestures with his hands, and exchanging words with a protest attendee on a bicycle. He then attacked the individual on the bicycle causing the bicycle to be damaged. Then, he intentionally accelerated his truck into a group of protestors, and ran over a woman, causing her severe injuries that required surgery. The woman was a bystander who was trying to intervene on behalf of the attendee on the bicycle.   

CAIR-SV/CC is deeply concerned that these attacks may have been motivated by hate, including anti-Palestinian sentiments, and we are calling on law enforcement authorities to investigate these incidents as hate crimes. Hate crimes are not only an attack on the individual victims but are also an assault on our society’s values of tolerance, free expression, and inclusivity.  
 
In a statement, CAIR-SV/CC Senior Civil Rights Attorney, Layli Shirani, said:   

“We are alarmed by the brutality of these attacks and the role of bias, hatred, and anti-Palestinian sentiments motivating these acts of violence. We call on law enforcement to thoroughly investigate these incidents as potential hate crimes, and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”  

CAIR-SV/CC stands in solidarity with the victims of these senseless acts, the Palestinian community, their allies, and their families. We urge the community to remain vigilant, support peaceful expressions of free speech, and to report any suspicious or hate-motivated activities to the local authorities and CAIR-SV/CC. It is only by working together that we can build a society that is free from discrimination, violence, and hate.  

CAIR-SV/CC is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.         

– END –         

CONTACT: CAIR-SV/CC Operations Manager Elle Dunlap, edunlap@cair.com(916) 302-2121