A Muslim student from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, was injured in a hit-and-run on Friday. According to CBS News, authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Abdulwahab Omira was struck by a car just after 2 p.m. on Friday, November 3, while he was crossing the street near campus residences. CBS News reports that the driver allegedly yelled, “F— you and your people,” as he sped off.
According to CNN, the California Highway Patrol conducted a preliminary investigation and believes the hit-and-run was a hate crime. Authorities have described the suspect as a mid-20s, White male in his mid-20s with short dark-blond hair, a short beard and round-frame eyeglasses. They believe he was driving a black Toyota 4Runner, model year 2015 or newer with a California license plate containing the letters M and J.
Omira told authorities he thinks the suspect is someone who has expressed animosity towards the Muslim community before, CBS News reports. He suspects the individual is someone who has been filming pro-Palestinian rallies and protests.
Stanford University’s Department of Public Safety issued two alerts, one on Friday and one on Saturday, relating to the hit-and-run, CNN reports. Omira says the university was slow to respond.
“The hours following the incident were agonizingly silent from the institution that I had trusted to be my safeguard,” he told CNN. “It took a multitude of emails and a cry for acknowledgment to bring forth a personal response from the administration.”
Stanford president Richard Saller has issued a statement condemning the incident.
Omira says the hit-and-run has taught him the importance of love.
“As I lay in my hospital bed, grappling with a reality I had never imagined, I reflect on the importance of spreading love, kindness, and compassion in a world that seems to be steadily succumbing to hatred and prejudice,” Omira said. “This ordeal has solidified my resolve to advocate for love, understanding, and inclusivity.”
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