Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest

Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest

Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest

In another appalling hate crime, a Palestinian American was stabbed in Austin, Texas, amidst the escalating anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States.

The victim, accompanied by three young American Muslims, was driving home after participating in a pro-Palestine protest when Bert James Baker, a white male on a bicycle, attempted to tear a flagpole adorned with a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf reading ‘Free Palestine’ off their car.

Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest
According to family members and local advocates, a white man on a bicycle approached the young men’s car Sunday evening and attempted to remove a keffiyeh, a headscarf that signals Palestinian solidarity, from a flag pole attached to the car. The man then allegedly attacked the car’s occupants, three of whom are Palestinian-American. Witnesses told the Council on American Islamic Relations the man pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the Palestinian Americans; the victim was later identified by his father as Zacharia Doar.

According to the victims, Baker repeatedly screamed the n-word and other obscenities, opened the passenger door, pulled one of the victims out of the car and stabbed him in the chest.

The Austin Police Department promptly arrested the attacker on the scene for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest
The Austin Police Department (APD) arrested 36-year-old Bert James Baker Sunday night for felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident. In a statement released Tuesday, APD dubbed the attack “bias-motivated.” Baker is being held at Travis County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

“We strongly condemn this apparent act of hate, we applaud these young men for bravely defending themselves, and we call on state and federal law enforcement authorities to file appropriate charges against the suspect, including hate crime charges,” Mustafa Carroll, director of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement.

“No one should be targeted and attacked because they put Palestinian-themed items on their vehicle. Anti-Palestinian racism and anti-Muslim bigotry have no place in Texas or anywhere else in our nation.”

Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest
Hatem Natsheh, a member of the Austin for Palestine Coalition, speaks during a news conference outside Austin City Hall on Tuesday following the stabbing of Zacharia Doar.

CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell warned against the rising wave of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate.

“This apparent act of hate in Austin appears to be the latest incident of hate motivated by the rise in anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia,” he said.

“From the murder of six-year-old Wadea outside Chicago to the shooting of three college students in Burlington, Vermont, far too many incidents of violence against Muslims, Palestinians and others who support Palestinian human rights have occurred over the past several months. Those responsible for this violence must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and those fomenting the hate that leads to this violence must be condemned.”

Palestinian American stabbed in Austin after pro-Palestine protest
Nizar Doar, father of a 23-year-old Palestinian American stabbed in Austin on Sunday, calls for Texas leaders to support a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip at a press conference Tuesday.

The victim, who hasn’t been named, is the third Palestinian American to be targeted after the eruption of the Gaza war on October 7.

Last October, another Palestinian American was hospitalized after being hit by the driver of a dark SUV who shouted ‘Kill all Palestinians,’ ‘Long live Israel’.

Also in October, Palestinian American boy Wadea al-Fayoume was stabbed 26 times by a 71-year-old landlord who was allegedly upset about the Israel-Hamas war.


Source: AboutIslam

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