Wave of Anti-Arab Violence Tests US Hate Crime Laws

Wave of Anti-Arab Violence Tests US Hate Crime Laws

A wave of anti-Arab violence in Burlington, Vermont has put US hate crime laws to the test. The incident occurred late last year when three Palestinian college students, Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ahmad, were shot while walking down a residential street. The victims, who were conversing in a mix of Arabic and English, were targeted, according to local residents, due to their Palestinian identity. Two of the students were wearing Palestinian keffiyeh scarves.

The attack, which took place on November 25, has raised concerns about the definition of hate crimes and the seriousness with which such incidents are treated. Despite the belief of many Burlington residents that the students were targeted because of their Palestinian identity, authorities are still investigating the case and have not yet filed any hate crime charges.

The lack of action in this case has led to confusion and frustration among the community. Fuad Al-Amoody, the vice president of the Islamic Society of Vermont (ISV), expressed his disappointment, stating that if the victims had not been wearing keffiyeh scarves or speaking Arabic, they would not have been shot. Al-Amoody questioned why this incident is not being considered a hate crime, emphasizing the need for consistent standards in addressing such acts of violence.

The shooting has brought attention to the rise of suspected hate crimes in the US, particularly in the aftermath of Israel’s war on Gaza. It also highlights the importance of accurate data collection to fully understand the extent of hate-fueled violence against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims.

Author: CrimeDoor

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