An elderly Sikh man was reportedly called "Bin Laden" and a "terrorist" before he was beaten in Darien, Illinois, on Sept. 8, only days before the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (video below).
Sikhs are not Muslims, and many Sikhs wear turbans, which are different from traditional Muslim headwear.
The Sikh Coalition claims Inderjit Singh Mukker, an American citizen, was driving to a grocery store when the harassment began on the road.
Mukker reportedly pulled over to allow the suspect to pass his car, but the suspect stopped his car as well. Mukker had his car window down when the suspect allegedly approached him.
"(The suspect) just began beating and punching him in the face ferociously," Sikh Coalition Legal Director Harsimran Kaur told NBC Chicago. "His cheek was fractured, he had a laceration that required six stitches, he had black eyes, and just bruising and swelling all over his face."
Kaur said Mukker was “targeted and assaulted because of his Sikh religious appearance, race or national origin,” notes The Hindu news site.
“We request an immediate investigation and call on local and federal agencies to investigate this attack as a hate crime,” Kaur added.
Mukker was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries. He has since been released.
The police have not yet charged the suspect, who is reportedly in a local hospital for reasons unknown, but the investigation is ongoing, NBC Chicago reported. The Hindu, however, reported that the suspect is in police custody.
Photo credit: NBC Chicago/Sikh Coalition Screenshot