Student: I was nearly run over for being Muslim

Posted at 10:08 AM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-24 10:08:38-05

CINCINNATI -- A University of Cincinnati student said she was nearly run over because she is Muslim, the third local woman to report being targeted in recent weeks over their religion.

Haneen Jasim, a third-year pre-med student, said she was crossing at Calhoun Street and Clifton Avenue on Nov. 16 when a man started yelling at her, calling her a terrorist and running a red light in an attempt to hit her.

Jasim said she thinks she was targeted because she wears a hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by some Muslim women. Jasim said three good Samaritans pulled her to safety on the sidewalk.

"For days, I couldn't sleep whatsoever, I was even cuddling up with my mom," Jasim said. "I was so scared. I'm terrified to walk across crosswalks, I keep looking behind me."

Jasim said she was so shaken she asked a friend to accompany her to a gas station afterward to watch as she filled up. She has filed a police report with the Cincinnati Police Department.

Local Muslim leaders said two other women have reported being targeted since the terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Karen Dabdoub, with the Council on American Islamic Relations' Cincinnati chapter, said another woman was attacked at the Kroger store in Hyde Park. A couple was making nasty comments under the breath to her and they followed her to her car, Dabdoub said; one grabbed her hijab in an attempt, she thinks, to get her attention and then started to berate her and call her names based on her perceived religious affiliation.

"This is very very serious, and it needs to be labeled as what it is: These are hate crimes," Dabdoub said.