TAMPA -- Two Muslim women say they were targeted in attacks in the Tampa Bay area as they were leaving the places where they worship, according to the Florida chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
An attorney from the group says both the women were leaving mosques and wearing scarves over their heads -- a traditional Muslim head covering called a hijab -- when the attacks happened.
On Thursday, one of women's car was shot at as she left a mosque in eastern Tampa, about a mile from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, CAIR Florida director Hassan Shibly said. Last weekend, a woman reported a man cut her off with his car and threw stones and other things at her as she drove away from a mosque in New Tampa.
Shibly says CAIR is hearing reports like this every single day from across the state.
"The American Muslim community is proud of its contributions in society, and it's unfortunate that certain politicians are attacking the entire Muslim faith and people for the horrendous actions of a few people," he said.
Analysts and experts say the kind of anti-Muslim attacks reported in Tampa this week are literally exactly what ISIS wants. Because the terror group only has a few thousand people, and almost all of them are on the other side of the planet, this is their strategy: to create a divide between Muslims and non-Muslims in America, with the hopes that some Muslims will feel isolated and fed up enough to turn to radical Islam, then attack.