CHICAGO (CBS) — About two dozen people gathered in Rogers Park on Sunday to support two Muslim women who have said they were harassed and assaulted last week.
Suzanne Damra, 25, said for the past month she has endured comments from a woman in the neighborhood who repeatedly has called her ISIS, and used other profanity-laced insults. She said, on Thursday, she and her elderly mother were walking to the car when the woman got physical with them.
“It was like ‘Oh my God, it’s a whole other side of her, with the insults, and then people walking past are like, ‘Yeah, they are ISIS,’” she said.
Damra said she’s still waiting to hear from Chicago Police, who have filed the incident as a simple assault. She wants it documented as a hate crime.
In the middle of the rally, a man walked by and yelled at the group that they were supporters of ISIS.
Dr. Alia Ammar, one of the speakers at the rally, said she wasn’t surprised.
“This is nothing new to Muslim women, unfortunately. It should be. It should have been shocking. We all should have turned around and said ‘Oh my God, what’s happening?’” she said.
Ammar said the Muslim community has been targeted by a growing number of hate crimes, particularly after the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has proposed a ban on Muslim immigrants.
“What we saw in Rogers Park on Thursday was an unfortunate example of the hatred that is beginning to bubble to the surface in our nation,” she said. “Being Muslim is never a crime; especially in a country that was based on the principles of religious freedom, and that heralds itself as a place that people can come to from all over the world.”
The group said they want Chicago police to increase patrols in the Rogers Park neighborhood.