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An Arab Muslim student at Stanford University released a statement on Monday after he was hit by a car late last week in what local authorities have called a hate crime.
“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,” Abdulwahab Omira, originally from Syria, said.
“This ordeal has solidified my resolve to advocate for love, understanding and inclusivity.”
On Friday, Mr Omira said that a man in his mid-20s driving a Toyota 4Runner made eye contact with him before accelerating and hitting him while he was walking to class. Mr Omira claimed the man had expressed hostility towards Muslims in the community before.
The student said that during the attack, the man used profanity-laced slurs that “still echo in my ears as I grapple with the physical and emotional pain this incident has left in its wake”.
The victim's injuries are non-life-threatening, the Department of Public Safety said, according to ABC News.
A preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol determined the incident was a hate crime, a statement from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said.
Last month, a man stabbed a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy to death in Chicago and groups across the country report a rise in anti-Arab and Islamophobic sentiment.
Stanford University was slow to respond to the incident, Mr Omira said.
“The hours following the incident were agonisingly silent from the institution that I had trusted to be my safeguard,” he said.
“It took a multitude of emails and a cry for acknowledgement to bring forth a personal response from the administration.”
Dee Mostofi, assistant vice president of external communications for Stanford University told CNN that campus authorities issued a notice about the incident as soon as they had enough information from police.
Stanford president Richard Saller and provost Jenny Martinez condemned the incident in a campus statement on Friday.
Stanford police said security has been upped at locations on campus and the university is “continuing to work to provide a safe and secure campus environment in the context of heightened tensions”.