A Muslim student was attacked near the University of Texas campus because a passerby thought he was listening to Islamic State instructions on his headphones.
Police have stepped up patrols near Nueces Mosque, near the campus, after the student was shoved to the ground following terrorist attacks in Paris, reported KEYE-TV.
The student was wearing headphones as he walked several blocks from the mosque, and the assailant yelled at him and accused him of taking instructions from the Islamic militant group.
“This is like a wakeup call for us, we need to do something because we have students coming here,” said Umer Esmail, the mosque’s imam.
Police said they have increased patrols near the city’s mosques and other houses of worship following the terrorist attacks that have rekindled anti-Muslim fears.
“We don’t have any specific threats against any church or mosque or anything but it’s just we want to stay ahead of it,” said Officer Darrell Grayson, of Austin police.
Officers have surveyed mosques in the city to help spot potential security risks, such as tall hedgerows, faulty locks or unsecured windows.
Vandals tore up a Koran and flung fecal matter at the entryway to a mosque in Pflugerville, near Austin, shortly after the Paris attacks.
Community members there rallied around the mosque, including a 7-year-old boy who emptied his piggy bank to help pay for the cleanup.
Esmail said his mosque has also received encouragement from neighbors.
“The support and love that is out there is much greater than the hate,” he said.
Watch this video report posted online by KEYE-TV: