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The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s note: Stereotyping and guilt by association are the root cause of Islamophobia as well as anti-Semitism
Abdulwahab Omira, an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University, has released a statement after he was struck by a car Friday afternoon in what authorities are calling a hate crime.
“As I lay in my hospital bed, grappling with a reality I had never imagined, I reflect on the importance of spreading love, kindness, and compassion in a world that seems to be steadily succumbing to hatred and prejudice,” Omira said. “This ordeal has solidified my resolve to advocate for love, understanding, and inclusivity.”
Omira claims the driver, whom he described to authorities after the incident as “a white male in his mid-20s, with short dirty-blond hair and a short beard, wearing a gray shirt and round framed eyeglasses,” had expressed hostility toward Muslims before.
“An individual who had previously shown animosity towards my community, struck me intentionally,” Omira said in his statement. “His hateful screams of ‘f*** you and your people’ still echo in my ears as I grapple with the physical and emotional pain this incident has left in its wake.”
Omira was walking to class just before 2 p.m. Friday when he was struck by a 2015 or newer black Toyota 4Runner. A preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol determined the incident was a hate crime, according to a Saturday statement from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation.
To date, Stanford University’s Department of Public Safety has released two alerts about the incident – one on Friday and an update Saturday – but Omira says the school took too long to issue a warning to the community and showed insufficient concern for his well-being or the circumstances of the incident.
“The hours following the incident were agonizingly silent from the institution that I had trusted to be my safeguard,” Omira said. “It took a multitude of emails and a cry for acknowledgment to bring forth a personal response from the administration.”
Dee Mostofi, assistant vice president of external communications for Stanford University told CNN campus authorities issued the notice as soon as they had enough information from the highway patrol about the incident.