Texas woman ‘tried to drown’ 3-year-old Palestinian child

The Council on American Islamic Relations called on Texas police to conduct a hate-crime probe of the incident [Getty]

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on the Texas police to conduct a hate crime probe on an attack against a Muslim family.

The attack, which occurred at a local swimming pool in Euless, Texas, on 19 May, saw Elizabeth Wolf attack a mother and two children after hearing them speak a foreign language. 

After questioning the mother, Wolf then attempted to drag the 6-year-old and 3-year-old children into the deep end of the pool where they were swimming, although the 6-year-old managed to flee.

As well as dragging the kids into the deep end of the pool the attacker grabbed the hijab off the mother and beat her with it whilst attempting to put the three-year-old child’s head under water.

After an intervention from a member of the public and arrest by the police, the woman shouted to a bystander to “tell her [the mother] I will kill her, and I will kill her whole family.”

In a statement, the children’s mother said: “We are American citizens, originally from Palestine, and I don’t know where to go to feel safe with my kids. My country is facing a war, and we are facing that hate here. 

“My daughter is traumatized; whenever I open the apartment door, she runs away and hides, telling me she is afraid the lady will come and immerse her head in the water again. 

“Also, my husband’s employment is jeopardized due to having to leave work to accompany me and our four kids whenever we have appointments and errands to run.”

CAIR-Austin Operations Manager Shaimaa Zayan said that she feared a “new level of bigotry” is arising in the US and added she was “devastated” that the perpetrator was given bail the day after her arrest.

“We ask for hate-crime probe, a higher bail bond, and an open conversation with officials to address this alarming increase in Islamophobia, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian sentiment,” she added.

Wolf has since been charged with attempted murder and injury to a child.

The statement from CAIR comes amid a rise of hate-crime related incidents, with CAIR saying that in the last three months of 2023 3,578 complaints were made to Muslim civil rights groups about hate-crimes, employment discrimination and education discrimination.

The number if 178 percent higher than the last three months of 2022.

Additionally, data from the Center for the Study of hate and Extremism at California State University also showed a rise in in hate crime incidents driven by an uptick in anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attacks post outbreak of Israel’s war on Gaza.

An analysis of 25 US cities found hate crimes rose an average of 17 percent, although some cities saw a larger increase, including Los Angeles which saw a 48 percent rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes and Chicago which saw a 300 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes.

A number of notable incidents of hate crimes post 7 October, including an incident where three college students of Palestinian descent were shot in Vermont in November.

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