Muslim Activist Says Driver Yelled Slurs, Threats in Garland

Police in North Texas are investigating a report that a member of a Muslim rights advocacy group was followed out of a gas station by a driver yelling expletives and threats at him.

On Wednesday Omair Siddiqi, outreach coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was driving through Richardson when he stopped at a gas station. He was listening to a reading of the Quran.

"The door was open and the window was open, so if anybody was in the area they would have heard it," Siddiqi said.

When Siddiqi left the gas station he noticed a white pickup truck following closely behind him. He said the driver was so aggressive that the two vehicles were practically bumper-to-bumper. Siddiqi changed lanes to let the pickup pass.

"As he was doing that I could see two stickers on the back of his truck," he said. "One said 'The Three Percenters' and one said "American infidel.'"

CAIR says both stickers have anti-Muslim connotations. Siddiqi thought the ordeal was over until the driver pulled up beside him. As they crossed into Garland the driver started yelling racial epithets.

"He was basically cursing at me saying, 'You rag (expletive) head. Go back to the country where you came from.' At the end he's like, 'I'm going to (expletive) kill you.' When he said that he basically turned his car into my lane almost hitting my vehicle," Siddiqi said.

When Siddiqi called police shortly afterward, an officer initially told him there wasn't enough evidence to file a report.

But on Thursday, Garland police said they would investigate the incident for a possible misdemeanor charge of assault by threat.

"An incident report should have been made regardless of what happened," Siddiqi said.

Muslims in North Texas have reported several incidents in the past year of being targeted. Siddiqi said the way his situation was handled sends a negative message to North Texas Muslims.

"We have a huge Muslim population here in Dallas, and if officers and certain police departments don't know how to react to certain situations – or how to document certain situations – that's a big problem," he said.

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