An advocacy group in Michigan is asking federal authorities to investigate an act of racist vandalism against a Muslim man as a hate crime.
Just days after moving into a new apartment in the Detroit suburb of Inkster, the man—identified by CBS affiliate WWJ only as a Muslim of South Asian descent—returned home on Wednesday to find that his car’s tires had been slashed, and a series of swastikas had been painted across its windows. The words “chink nigger” were also written on the car’s door.
In response, the Michigan chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations has called on both state and federal law enforcement agencies to examine the incident as a hate crime.
“No American should feel threatened to move into a new location because of his or her faith or ethnicity,” CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a press release.
The group also noted that there had been a similar incidents of vandalism against Muslims living in the same apartment complex recently. Speaking with WXYZ, Walid said the man targeted has avoided his home as a result, telling the station that, “This man literally does not want to sleep in his apartment and he’s not been there for a week and he has this happen.”
A call to the Inkster police department was not immediately returned. I will update this story if and when I got a response. However, speaking with WXYZ, Inkster Police chief William T. Reilly acknowledged that the vandalism was part of a broader uptick in racially motivated crimes.
“It does scare people,” he explained to the station. “The reason why it’s scary, when we look at the reports over the recent several months, there’s been an increase of what we call racial incidents and that should scare everyone.”
According to 2010 census data, Inkster—a community of over 25,000 people in the larger Detroit metro area—is predominantly African American, with just 1.6% identifying as Asian.