The Council on American-Islamic Relations, via news release, is calling for an FBI investigation into a road rage incident in Murfreesboro Tuesday evening. It’s over an incident described by WSMV-TV thusly:
Converted Muslim Lisa Sallaj, 43, of Murfreesboro said, she hasn’t slept a wink since the road rage incident.
“I’ve been sick to my stomach. I’ve been shaking, nervous, lying in bed tossing and turning,” Sallaj said.
It all started on Medical Center Parkway near Interstate 24 in Murfreesboro around 8:30 p.m.
“He had just received his driver’s license. I was in the car with him,” the mother said.
Sallaj’s 18-year-old son was in a left turn lane, but needed to go straight. When the traffic light changed to green he pulled out right in front of a black Mustang.
“The guy went ballistic,” said Sallaj. “He went nuts.”
It got much worse.
“He started yelling and cussing saying you (expletive) need to learn how to drive,” said Lisa Sallaj. “Then I look over and he has a knife out shaking at me saying, ‘I’ll kill you.'”
Sallaj told her son to pull over so she can get the tag number. She started driving, but ended up right next to the black Mustang at a traffic light where the driver revved up his engine.
She said, he then started using anti-Islamic slurs.
Sallaj said, “He started saying ‘la, la, la, la, la, la, la,’ and making like racial slurs.”
The mother said, she really got scare when the man began yelling at her son.
“He said he would put a red bullet dot in the center of his eyes,” said Sallaj.
The CAIR news release is below.
News release from CAIR (without a bunch of links in the original email)::
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/28/2011) — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the FBI to investigate a Tennessee road rage incident in which a Muslim mother and son were targeted with death threats and anti-Muslim slurs by a knife-wielding driver.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the Murfreesboro, Tenn., mother and son were targeted Tuesday evening by another driver who shouted anti-Muslim and racial slurs and mocked an Islamic prayer. The Muslim mother wears an Islamic head scarf.
CAIR is also calling for hate crime charges to be brought against the alleged perpetrator once he is apprehended.
“Given the past bias incidents targeting the Islamic community in Murfreesboro and the anti-Islam bill introduced in the Tennessee legislature, it is imperative that the FBI investigate this case to help provide a sense of security to local Muslims,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Because of the racial and religious slurs reportedly used in this incident, we urged local and state law enforcement agencies to bring appropriate hate crime charges against the alleged perpetrator.”
He noted that the construction of a new Islamic center in Murfreesboro prompted GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to suggest that local communities may ban mosques.
Anti-Muslim incidents — including apparently bias-motivated arson — have occurred at mosques in Nashville, Brentwood, Antioch, Mufreesboro, and Knoxville.