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When Being Mistaken for Muslim Can Get You Stabbed

(updated – below)

The Hindustan Times reports that a Sikh individual was stabbed in an unprovoked attack at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.  A hate crime is suspected.  It is very common for anti-Muslim bigots to confuse Sikhs, who wear conspicuous turbans, for Muslims–a confusion that is symbolically representative of the profound ignorance that underlies Islamophobia.

Sikh man stabbed at US airport, hate crime suspected
Associated Press
Fresno, California, December 07, 2011

A Sikh man waiting for a plane at Fresno Yosemite International Airport has been stabbed in a seemingly unprovoked attack, police said. The victim was treated at the airport and boarded his flight bound for India. Fresno police said Mitchell Dufur, 26, stabbed the Sikh man in his 50s in the upper torso Sunday evening in the security area. No words were exchanged before the attack. The man was standing with his translator when the attack occurred.

Dufur was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a knife in an airport.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday urged the FBI and police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

“Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims,” said Sacramento CAIR executive director Basim Elkarra.

Gina Swankie in the Sacramento FBI office said her office was having “a dialogue with the group,” but would not confirm whether they had opened an investigation.

Police Lt Don Gross said investigators have not determined whether it was a hate crime because Dufur has refused to talk to police about his motive.

Two elderly men were earlier gunned down in Sacramento on March 4 while walking through a neighbourhood in Elk Grove.

Update I:

Ahmed Rehab tweeted about a second stabbing, another possible hate crime.  Rehab tweeted:

An Indian American Law professor at #UIUC (unconfirmed) stabbed at train station by a man yelling “This is MY country”

The story is still unfolding, but is being reported here:

University faculty member stabbed in alleged hate crime

A faculty member from the College of Law was stabbed Wednesday on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the report, officers found Joshua Scaggs, 23, and the 41-year-old victim, a professor at the University.

The suspect was lying on the floor face-down near a utility knife, and the victim was sitting in a chair bleeding profusely.

“One of our faculty members was involved in that incident,” said John Colombo, assistant dean at the College of Law. “I can’t confirm (the name) to anyone outside of the College of Law community.”

Police took Scaggs into custody. A witness said Scaggs and the victim were seated in the waiting area when Scaggs suddenly jumped up and shouted that this was his country. He then attacked the victim, who is a non-white male.

Scaggs grabbed the victim around the neck and appeared to be choking him. He then forced the victim to the floor. The witness then pulled the suspect off of the male.

Scaggs was issued a $500,000 bond Thursday, according to the Champaign County Clerk’s office.

The 41-year-old victim, of Champaign, was transported to the Carle Hospital emergency room. Scaggs was later arrested on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime and transported to the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

Can you imagine if two Christian or Jewish-Americans were stabbed by Muslims in separate incidents?  What do you think the reaction of the media would have been?

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  • MRD


    The case of drunk Somali girls was in UK they were also not charged with a racially motivated attack and the boyfriend of the English girl had been a participant in what took place. It was something which takes place every weekend in the UK, fueled by Alcohol. The girls were given suspended prison sentences and community service because the attacked girls boyfriends actions were taken as mitigating circumstances – the judge did not accept the ‘Muslim’ girls were not used to drinking as a mitigating factor.

  • Black Infidel

    @Mustafa H.E.: When was talking about California being racist I was actually referring to the racial tension in that state. Racist was not the correct word.

    Also California has the largest number of gangs in the USA.

  • marco

    Shows how brain dead these muslim haters are, that they will go after someone for merely looking muslim. Which proves the theory they wouldn’t know a muslim if 1 was standing right infront of them.

  • Mustafa H.E.

    Compared to the deep South and the American heartland, California is more tolerant, but that’s usually the case with more urbanized regions, especially when it’s across the sea from the orient.

  • Black Infidel


    I’ll admit I do get carried away when posting. A sensible thing to have stated was: “California is not as tolerant as it was, but still a high level or tolerance”.

    From my understanding Orange County and LA reputations aren’t that great.

  • DrM

    Not the first time Sikhs have been targeted in Fresno. The usual suspects continue to argue that Islamophobia isn’t racism because Muslims aren’t a race, but to them we are a “race,” and that’s why Sikhs, Hindus, and even Mexicans are mistaken for Muslims.

  • Danios

    @ Black Infidel:

    Almost everything you say is crazy and/or nonsense.

    California is not “the most racist state.” In fact, it is a very tolerant area.

  • Black Infidel

    California is the most racist state. California is becoming the most Islamophobic state. They’re probably be a Muslim version of Rodney King. I hear the cops in California are CRAZY!!!

  • Actually there has been a case of “4 MUSLIM Somali women beating up a white woman”

    the locals are either getting that system is messed up, or they’re going ape nuts for muslim and somali blood.

  • Believing Atheist

    I agree with Sumbody. Hindus and Sikhs often target Muslims in riots in India despite the fact that Hindus and Sikhs are hated and persecuted in other parts of the world as well. What needs to happen is that Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims need to form a united campaign to combat hate crimes throughout the world i.e., Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus coexist. They also must see each other as brother and sister rathar than strangers. I mean they are living together in the same subcontinent for a great deal of time but still the hatred for one another does not cease.

  • mindy1

    How sad and wrong 🙁

  • Ibrahim

    Really sincerely feel bad for this gentleman. A brown man, it seems, has no place in this “melting pot” of cultures anymore.

  • Al

    How sad

  • What’s really sad is that because of things like this, Hindus and Sikhs often join in the hate for Muslims, rather than show solidarity with Muslims as they suffer too.

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