"The physical, emotional, and psychological toll of such attacks must not be ignored or trivialized," said Zainab Chaudry, outreach director for CAIR Maryland. "We urge prosecutors to hold this alleged attacker accountable and to send a message to the public that hate crimes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Harford County State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly said he didn't think it was necessary to add hate crime charges.
"It's a road rage incident where the victim and defendant happen to be of different ethnic backgrounds," he said. "It's not like the guy just picked the guy out of a crowd and walked up to him for no reason."
CAIR says it received 851 reports nationwide in the first quarter of this year of incidents that "contained an identifiable element of anti-Muslim bias. The organization says alleged bias incidents increased more than 55 percent from 2015 to 2016.
"It speaks to the normalization of anti-Muslim bigotry in this country," Chaudry said.