Several Trials of Muslims in US Postponed for Fear of ‘Bias’
Judges in the US have postponed several trials of Muslims amid fears that they are unlikely to receive a fair hearing in a climate of rising racial tension in the wake of last Tuesday’s attacks on vital US buildings, reported the BBC.online.
US President George W Bush called Tuesday for an end to the racist violence that followed the attacks, in which the prime suspect was identified as the Islamic militant Osama Bin Laden.
Speaking at Washington's Islamic Center, Bush condemned what have been described as revenge attacks on Muslims and other members of ethnic minorities.
According to the BBC, US judges are concerned that jurors at trials of Muslims may hold views of the defendants strongly influenced by recent events.
In California, the case against an Egyptian immigrant accused of killing a child has been put on hold.
He delayed the trial until 28 September to allow time for emotions to cool down.
In Atlanta, Georgia, a judge cited the same reasons for delaying the murder trial of a Muslim cleric.
Jamil Abdullah al-Amin is accused of killing a police officer and could get the death penalty if found guilty.
The judge postponed the trial until January.
Meanwhile, about 40 hate crimes are being investigated by the FBI, with director Robert Mueller warning that vigilante attacks, as he called them, would not be tolerated, said the news service.
Earlier, India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee appealed to Mr Bush to protect Indian citizens living in the US.
A Sikh was shot dead in Arizona on Saturday, in what is believed to have been an ethnically-motivated killing.
Another murder in Texas is thought to have been motivated by anger at the terrorist attacks.
American Muslims have been alarmed by the rise in reports of physical or verbal abuse directed against members of their community.
"I am afraid, we are all afraid," said Mohamed Khan, a Pakistani who was beaten up in New York's Queen's district, a few miles from where two hijacked passenger jets plowed into the World Trade Center, felling the city's tallest buildings and changing America forever.
"I was attacked yesterday in Flatbush ... it was a group of young men ... they yelled at me...they hit me," the 48-year-old interpreter told AFP.
"I am afraid for my daughters, who go to school here ... they were born here ... now after the attacks many look at us with suspicion ... with hate," said the turbaned and bearded resident of the world's ultimate multi-cultural city.
Washington's Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has recorded more than 350 incidents of anti-Muslim harassment, threats, discrimination and violence since the tragedy, said the agency –Albawaba.com
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