New York – A Moroccan man reportedly has been violently beaten by a white man in the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to the victim’s friend, the Moroccan man, identified as Amine Aouam, was walking down a street around midnight just after he left his job talking with his friend.
As they were walking, they passed a group of 5 to 6 people. A woman from the group stared at the victim as he spoke, in Arabic, with his friend, so he addressed her, in Arabic, and said, “Massae El Khir” (“good evening,” in Arabic).
The woman spoke back with an attitude saying, “what”? The Moroccan man answered, “I just said good evening.” As he continued his walk on by with his friend, a man from the group addressed him and told him to “take the sh***t that you just said and put it in you’re a***.”
This is apparently the last thing the victim remembers from the incident. According to Moroccan Canadian Hajar Lakrati, who posted an account ofthe incident on her Facebook page, Amine “got hit in his head and neck area so hard that he passed out. He woke up at emergency room, not remembering the suspect’s face.”
According to Hajar, the victim remembers that the suspects of the hate crime is a white male, around 26 years old, 5’6″ tall and he was walking with 2 women and 3 other men in downtown Philadelphia, at 100 South Broad Street, where the incident took place.
The Philadelphia police department opened an investigation into the case after Amine’s friend reported the incident.
Hajar expressed her outrage at alarming levels of bigotry targeting Muslims in North America, especially inflamed by the anti-Muslim rhetoric being used by U.S. presidential campaign Donald Trump.
“Isn’t it ironic that until Donald trump and his supporters showed up more Muslims began to report hate crimes?,” Hajar wrote. “Is it a coincidence or perhaps Trump boosted their confidence to literally attack others since he got away with many hateful statements, so why not them? Is that what America is turning too? Like black slavery wasn’t shameful enough in their record?,” she asked.
The Moroccan Canadian activist called on Muslims to be careful wherever they are and be aware that what happened to Amine can now happen to any Muslim.
“Dear Muslims: stay awake and watch your back in the street please. We don’t want to lose more brothers and sisters. I think Middle East paid the price already and apparently we are being attacked whether we are home or abroad,” she said.