(CHICAGO, IL, 4/8/05) – The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today reported that the FBI is investigating a number of racist phone threats made against a Chicago Ridge Muslim family.
CAIR-Chicago said the victim told police that, beginning in March, she received several phone calls from an identified man threatening to kill her and her baby son if the family does not move away from the neighborhood.
“I know who you are, if you do not move away from my neighborhood within a month I will shoot you and kill you and your son,” said the caller, who is thought to be a neighbor living close enough to see who is in the house.
The caller’s most recent death threat came on the cell phone of the mother, telling her that she is a “f**king Arab” and that he will not call again, but will kill her and her son if they do not move away within two weeks. (The Muslim mother is Hispanic. Her husband is of Middle Eastern origin.) Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI have been contacted about the case.
“It is important for all people of conscience to speak out against the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in America that leads to discrimination, threats and even violence,” said CAIR-Chicago Communications Director Ahmed Rehab.
Rehab noted that a Chicago-area Muslim family recently filed a civil rights lawsuit against a man who blew up their van with an explosive device. The same man was convicted of throwing a brick through the window of an Arab-owned business two days after the 9/11 attacks.
“We applaud the swift and professional response of local FBI officials to this and other anti-Muslim incidents in our area,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Yaser Tabbara.
Tabbara said CAIR publishes a “Muslim Community Safety Kit” for American Muslims, Arab-Americans and those perceived to be “Middle Eastern” who may face religious or ethnic profiling and hate crimes. The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.)
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
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CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago, Yaser Tabbara, 312-718-3725 or 312-212-1520, E-mail: email@example.com; Ahmed Rehab, 847-971-3963 or 312-212-1520, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org