CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Charges Against Attacker of Pro-Palestinian Protestors in Austin

CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Charges Against Attacker of Pro-Palestinian Protestors in Austin
Bert James Baker

Three branches of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have called for hate crime charges to be filed against Bert James Baker, who allegedly attacked a group of young Muslims in Austin after a pro-Palestinian protest.

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, February 4, 2024, around 7 p.m., involved Baker attempting to rip a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf off the victims’ car, using racial slurs, and physically assaulting them. The altercation escalated when Baker allegedly stabbed one of the victims in the chest, resulting in serious injury. Despite this, the victims managed to subdue Baker until police arrived and arrested him.

The stabbing victim has since undergone successful surgery and is recovering in the hospital.

“The entire Austin Muslim community stands in solidarity with these young members of our community, who appear to be the latest victims of a surge in anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate across our nation. We encourage law enforcement to file hate crime charges against the suspect and we also encourage federal law enforcement to open a hate crime probe.”, said CAIR-Austin Board Chair Fayyaz Shah in a statement.

CAIR-Dallas Director Mustafa Carroll is calling for “state and federal law enforcement authorities to file appropriate charges against the suspect, including hate crime charges.” Carroll added that “anti-Palestinian racism and anti-Muslim bigotry have no place in Texas or anywhere else in our nation.”

In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:

“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. 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.”