UW Muslim students take extra precautions following alleged assault

Ted Land reports

SEATTLE -- Some University of Washington Muslim students are concerned about their safety following an alleged assault on one of their classmates. Police are investigating after a student wearing a headscarf says she was attacked.

Nagro Hassan, 18, told UW police a man hit her in the face with a glass bottle on Nov. 15 while she was walking near Red Square shortly after sunset.

In a report written the evening of the incident, the UW officer who responded said he found Hassan crying, holding an ice pack to her cheek.

Paramedics arrived and did not see any obvious injuries and Hassan declined medical treatment, according to the report.

UW police are still investigating and say they have no substantial leads. The only description of the suspect is a male in a black sweatshirt.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says the incident might fit into a pattern of increased hate-motivated violence targeting people associated with Islam. The group called a press conference on Monday to criticize UW for not providing any messages or updates to the community about the alleged attack.

“Law enforcement authorities must send a strong message that people of all faiths, races, and ethnicities belong here and that our children can go to school without fear of violent hate attacks," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.

UW President Ana Mari Cauce released a statement about the incident Monday.

"The University of Washington condemns the attack against a Muslim student earlier this month in no uncertain terms. We continue to offer our support to the student and we stand with the Muslim community here today and all who oppose any form of bigotry, harassment, or hate."

Some Muslim students, like Faarah Misbah, are taking precautions.

“I'm a commuter. I usually take the bus. But now I'm always asking people for rides home instead,” she said.

“We have started a buddy system to help students walk home at night or walk from various places on campus,” said Mina Sultana, co-president of the UW Muslim Students Association.

Copyright 2016 KING


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