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Reunion Tower attack on a Muslim woman reflects the rise in hate crimes

While most Americans were celebrating the new year, Jenan Ayesh, a Muslim visiting Dallas with her family from Oklahoma, is happy to be alive after a vicious verbal and physical attack. She may have been targeted because of she is a Muslim.

Ayesh and her family visited Dallas to ring in the new year. They went to the observation deck of Reunion Tower to get a breathtaking view of the city. Unfortunately, what they saw was what many Muslim-Americans often see — hate.

While exiting the observation deck, Ayesh and her mother, Renee, were accosted about wearing hijabs and were told to go back to their country. After Ayesh informed the attacker that the U.S. is her home, Ayesh said the female assailant snatched her hijab and struck her twice in the head. Ayesh, who said her vision became blurred, was taken to the emergency room and treated for a concussion.

The Texas Hate Crimes Act defines hate crimes as those motivated by prejudice, hatred or advocacy of violence. Federal law defines hate crimes as those that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender and gender identity.

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