The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation has called on federal law enforcement authorities to bring charges against the man who allegedly shot to death an Indiana Muslim, reportedly while shouting Islamophobic slurs.
CAIR is also calling on Indiana lawmakers to pass a hate crime law that would address such incidents.
A Muslim man was shot and killed in Indiana, after being followed by a guy who was hurling racist statements at him and his friends.
— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) February 19, 2019
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Mustafa Ayoubi, 32, was shot Saturday evening following an incident that began on I-465. Three friends who reportedly witnessed the shooting say it was a hate crime.
The witnesses said they heard the suspect, 33-year-old Dustin Passarelli of Plainfield, Ind., shouting anti-Muslim slurs in the moments before shooting Ayoubi. One witness said the alleged shooter “was saying a lot of bad words about [Islam’s Prophet] Muhammad.”
Investigators say the shooting was reported as a hate crime but is not being investigated as one.
“Because there is no hate crime law in Indiana, it is imperative that federal charges be considered in this tragic case,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “This tragedy shows why Indiana lawmakers must address the lack of hate crime legislation in the state.”
She noted that Indiana is one of just five states without a hate crime law.
Masri added that state and national leaders must speak out against the growing Islamophobia nationwide that can result in such violent incidents.
“We have seen an unfortunate spike in violent attacks and plots targeting American Muslims and their institutions in the era of Donald Trump,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
He cited recent arrests in an alleged bomb plot targeting Muslims in New York, guilty pleas in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque and sentencing of men in a plot to bomb Muslims in Kansas.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organisation. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.