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Alabama man pleads guilty to assaulting Muslim in Missouri

An Alabama man facing felony hate crime charges in Missouri pleaded guilty instead to misdemeanor assault charges after he was accused of punching a Muslim man, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported today.

Randall Heath, 29, of Salem, was sentenced to 40 days in jail.

Heath was arrested as he appeared in Boone County Circuit Court on a drunken driving charge, according to The Associated Press. 

That report continues:

“Authorities allege that in June, Heath shouted anti-Muslim insults at four men who were walking to prayers at the Islamic Center in Columbia. The men said Heath circled the block four times and shouted insults. One of the men who confronted Heath in the vehicle was struck in the arm…

The St. Louis Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) in September welcomed the hate crime charge.

“We believe this case is yet another example of the rising Islamophobia faced by the American Muslim community,” said CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed