A teenager has been stabbed in Huntington Beach, CA for “speaking Arabic.” The incident is not being investigated as an alleged Islamophobic hate crime, despite displaying some glaring hallmarks of a hate crime.
Karam Jarrah, 17, was walking home with his brother-in-law, when the three suspects began verbally abusing them. Jarrah recounted to KABC that the three assailants, Martin Roman, his wife Jessica and policeman brother Arthur began behaving aggressively and angrily towards him and his brother-in –law “out of the blue.”
Despite the attempts of the two men to de-escalate the situation, the altercation turned violent with one of the suspects, Martin Roman, stabbing Jarrah twice. All three suspects fled the scene by car and were later intercepted by police and the trio now faces assault and battery charges.
Jarrah expressed bewilderment that the random and racially motivated attack was perpetrated by a police officer, “They have to protect us, not stab us.”
This attack is yet another incident of xenophobia and racism that has culminated in violence.
The two men reported that they believed that they were attacked for “speaking Arabic,” and that they had “faced this type of situation before.” Jarrah was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening wounds; however, the outcome could have been much worse for the young man.
Violent hate crimes against people of Muslim background or suspected Muslim backgrounds have wildly escalated in recent months. Earlier this week, Muslim Girl covered the tragic death of three young men in Indiana, another incident of hate crimes against Muslims. It is important that we keep publicizing the terrifying consequences of Islamophobia–the loss of bright young Muslim lives. It is only by speaking out against this violence and intolerance against Muslims that the safety and security of Muslim lives can be given due attention.
Police are still investigating the Huntington Beach incident, and have not labeled it as a hate crime as of yet.