In another appalling hate crime, a Palestinian American was stabbed on Sunday night in Austin, Texas, amidst the escalating anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States.
The victim, accompanied by three young American Muslims, was driving home after participating in a pro-Palestine protest when Bert James Baker, a white male on a bicycle, attempted to tear a flagpole adorned with a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf reading ‘Free Palestine’ off their car.
According to the victims, Baker repeatedly screamed the n-word and other obscenities, opened the passenger door, pulled one of the victims out of the car and stabbed him in the chest.
The Austin Police Department promptly arrested the attacker on the scene for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
“We strongly condemn this apparent act of hate, we applaud these young men for bravely defending themselves, and we call on state and federal law enforcement authorities to file appropriate charges against the suspect, including hate crime charges,” Mustafa Carroll, director of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.
“No one should be targeted and attacked because they put Palestinian-themed items on their vehicle. Anti-Palestinian racism and anti-Muslim bigotry have no place in Texas or anywhere else in our nation.”
CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell warned against the rising wave of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The victim, who hasn’t been named, is the third Palestinian American to be targeted after the eruption of the Gaza war on October 7.
Last October, another Palestinian American was hospitalized after being hit by the driver of a dark SUV who shouted ‘Kill all Palestinians,’ ‘Long live Israel’.
Also in October, Palestinian American boy Wadea al-Fayoume was stabbed 26 times by a 71-year-old landlord who was allegedly upset about the Israel-Hamas war.