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Calls for hate crime probe after racial slurs were hurled at female Muslim UConn students

Jackson Mitchell

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations is calling for a probe into a possible hate crime incident that involved two female students at the University of Connecticut.

UConn junior Shazeda Khatun and senior Zena Saleh said they were walking to their dorm Monday night when a man screamed racial slurs at them.

Saleh said they believed they were targeted, because they wear headscarves.

In a statement, CAIR-CT Chair Farhan Memon called the incident unacceptable and disturbing.

“Students of all faiths deserve to feel safe and welcome on campus,” Memon said. “We urge police to launch a hate crime investigation and urge university officials to take action to ensure such incidents do not continue to occur on campus.”

A UConn spokesperson said campus police have launched an investigation.

“Students who are determined to have violated the UConn Student Code of Conduct can face various disciplinary measures, up to and including suspension and expulsion,” university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in a statement. “In addition to any potential criminal charges levied by UConn Police, the perpetrators could face University sanctions if they are affiliated with UConn.”

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.