Muslim student attacked on Baylor campus

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
By Tim Woods
Tribune-Herald staff writer

A Muslim Baylor University senior of South Asian
heritage who was active in Muslim-Christian relations
was attacked on the school’s campus Saturday night,
suffering multiple injuries.

Chief Jim Doak of the Baylor Department of Public
Safety confirmed that police were alerted about the
attack and that the incident is being investigated,
but he refused to release further details. Neither
Doak nor a university spokeswoman could immediately
say whether the alleged attack will be investigated as
a hate crime.

The Baylor DPS web site indicated that the attack
occurred near Draper Hall between 8:45 and 9 p.m.

Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington,
D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), said the victim called them Monday and said a
man, thought to be in his 30s, grabbed her hijab, an
Islamic head scarf, and threw the woman to the ground.
As he did, the attacker allegedly yelled anti-Muslim
and ethnic slurs at the woman including “Arabian
(expletive)” and “(expletive) Muslims.”

When the woman screamed, her attacker reportedly
slapped her and kicked her multiple times in the ribs,
according to Ahmed. An emergency room examination
found bruises and a dislocated shoulder, Ahmed said.

The victim, who was active in Muslim-Christian
relations on the Baylor campus, went to her family
home in Oklahoma after the attack. Ahmed said she was
told the victim would stay home for about a week.

Ahmed said the victim “did not specify if she was
afraid to come back (to school), but I’m sure if she
was asked, she probably would say that she is because
it’s not the first time that it’s happened.”

Ahmed said the victim told her that in the past people
had harassed her on campus because of her dress.

Muslim student reports attack on Baylor campus

WACO, Texas Baylor University police are investigating
a report by a Muslim student who says she was attacked
on campus.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked
the F-B-I to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

The student says was walking alone Saturday night when
a white man grabbed her head scarf. He threw her on
the ground and yelled ethnic slurs at her.

The man slapped her face, kicked her ribs and
threatened to kill her if she made noise.

The student reported she screamed and he ran away. She
was able to drive to the emergency room and was
treated for a dislocated shoulder and other injuries.

Baylor is the world's largest Baptist university.

In a statement today, Baylor officials said the
university is "treating the reported incident very

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten, or redistributed.

Muslim student believes attacker came from off campus
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
By Tim Woods
and Terri Jo Ryan
Tribune-Herald staff writers

A Muslim woman who said she was assaulted on the
Baylor University campus Saturday night said Tuesday
that she doesn’t believe her attacker is a Baylor

Nohayia Javed, a 19-year-old senior who has been at
Baylor since 2003, said she was attacked near the
Draper Academic Building about 8:45 p.m. by a
clean-shaven white man in his 30s, weighing about 200
pounds, with buzz-cut blondish-brown hair. She said he
was wearing jeans and steel-toed cowboy boots.

The incident, which wasn’t reported immediately, has
sparked the condemnation of the Washington, D.C.-based
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim
civil rights organization. The group’s communications
director, Ibrahim Hooper, said law enforcement
officials, including the FBI, should investigate the
attack as a hate crime.

Javed, a Chicago native of South Asian heritage, said
that as she was walking Saturday night from the
Student Union Building to her dorm room in Dawson
Residence Hall, a man grabbed her hijab — a Muslim
head scarf — and pulled her to the ground while making
anti-Muslim and ethnic slurs “in a really Southern,
very pronounced, noticeable accent.”

She said the man told her to keep quiet or he would
kill her. She added that the quickness and ferocity of
the attack shocked her into silence.

“But when he dug his nails into my chest, reflexively
I screamed,” Javed said. “And once I started
screaming, I could not stop.”

She said her attacker responded to her screams by
slapping her and kicking her multiple times in the
ribs before running away.

“I could tell that he wasn’t familiar with campus
because he didn’t seem to know where to run,” she
said. “He ran in a kind of circle before he found his
way out.”

Baylor’s interim vice president for student life, Dub
Oliver, said Baylor’s Department of Public Safety was
notified of the reported assault at about 5 p.m.
Sunday. He said “the university is treating this
incident very seriously and is in the process of
investigating the matter in cooperation with law
enforcement agencies.”

CAIR spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed said the group’s legal
affairs office contacted the FBI and asked them to
investigate the matter as a hate crime. The FBI’s Web
site states that to qualify as a hate crime, “the
offender’s criminal act must have been motivated, in
whole or in part, by his/her bias.”

Local Muslim leader Al Siddiq, president of the
Islamic Center of Waco, who spoke to Chris van
Gorder’s world religions class at Baylor on Tuesday,
said it would be tragic if the assault was racially
motivated. He said education is imperative to
understanding and tolerance.

“(Muslims) are no different than you,” he said. “If
there is understanding, then we get rid of many of
these problems.”

‘A terrible violation’

Javed said she did not contact Baylor DPS on Saturday
night because she didn’t think the office was open at
that hour. Her fiance, Adeel Zeb, a Baylor graduate
who was in town for a fraternity reunion, said Javed
also didn’t want to contact Baylor police because “she
felt that they wouldn’t do anything. But after talking
to so many of my family and her family, they all said
that she needed to (report the attack).”

Zeb said he took Javed to Presbyterian Hospital of
Greenville, Texas, where his father is a physician,
for X-rays. Her examination revealed deep bruises to
her rib cage and possibly a torn rotator cuff, Zeb

Javed said the doctor recommended she not return to
school for two weeks, but she told the Tribune-Herald
that “if I have even one inch of doubt about my
safety, I won’t be back.”

Zeb said he and Javed’s family are encouraging her not
to return.

“I’ve been advising against it since (the alleged
attack) happened,” he said. “I don’t think it’s wise.”

Baylor vice president Oliver said the school “strives
to provide a safe and supportive environment for all
students.” Marc Ellis, director of Baylor’s Center for
Jewish Studies, said it would be sad to lose Javed.

“Obviously, this is a terrible violation of Nohayia as
a person, but what we do in reaction is also very
important,” Ellis said. “We have been moving in a
direction of recognition of our diversity... and we
need to get something good out of this terrible
violence and violation for Nohayia’s sake.”

Hoda Said, a 20-year-old junior who addressed more
than 250 Baylor students with Javed at a panel
discussion in February about why Muslims were offended
by 12 cartoons that ran in a Danish newspaper in
September, said she has been harassed because of her
beliefs and the way she dresses.

She said that in the past she has let such incidents
slide because she did not want to cause problems. But
after Saturday’s attack on her friend, Said indicated
she will be quicker to react to such matters.

Ellis said Said’s response is appropriate but that the
ideal scenario would involve the community standing up
against racism and cultural insensitivity.

“I think the best thing is for us to stand up for each
other, with and for one another,” he said. “A
university’s campus is the sum of its parts and
something beyond its parts.”

FBI joins Baylor police in 'hate crime' investigation
Thursday, April 06, 2006
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Tribune-Herald staff writer

The FBI is now assisting Baylor University police in
investigating Saturday’s reported assault of a Muslim
student on campus.

Chief Jim Doak of the Baylor Department of Public
Safety announced the collaboration Wednesday, said
Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman.

“We have had an FBI representative on campus with us
throughout the day and will continue to work with the
agency as this process goes forward,” Doak said

Nohayia Javed, 19, a Chicago native of South Asian
heritage, Sunday reported to Baylor police that she
had been assaulted the night before by a white man in
his mid-30s.

She said the man made anti-Muslim and ethnic slurs “in
a really Southern, very pronounced, noticeable accent”
as he pulled her to the ground kicking, slapping and
digging his nails into her skin.

Al Siddiq, a leader of the local Muslim community and
president of the Islamic Center of Waco, said
Wednesday that he was relieved to learn the FBI had
joined the investigation. He said it was a sign that
the Baylor administration was “no longer in denial
that this is a hate crime.”

Siddiq said campus administrators had not initially
given the incident enough attention or concern because
the student assaulted was not “a blond, white girl.”

Meanwhile, officials from the Dallas office of the
Council on American-Islamic Relations are heading to
Waco on Friday to make their own assessment of the
situation, he added.

Tribune-Herald staff writer Terri Jo Ryan contributed
to this story.



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