(Chicago, IL, 7/18/05) – CAIR-Chicago, the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), applauds the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for their respective roles in bringing federal charges against a man who firebombed a Burbank Muslim family’s van in March of 2003.
CAIR-Chicago appreciates the watchfulness of the FBI and ATF and their coordination with the US Attorney’s Office in pursuing these new federal charges against Mr. Nix. It sends a clear message that acts of violence that put the civil rights of any member of the diverse Chicagoland community in harm’s way are attacks against us all and are unacceptable. The American Muslim and Arab-American communities in Chicagoland were surprised in 2003 when the judgment was handed down on the state charges; the punishment at the time seemed to signal that these sorts of violent crimes, if directed against American Muslims or Arab-Americans, would result in nothing more than a slap on the wrist. These new charges allow the American Muslim and Arab-American communities to breathe easier and reinforce the ideal that we are all equal before the law. “The federal government charging a defendant under a different statute for the same incident for which he was tried at the state level is a rare occurrence, and the local Muslim community is thankful that justice is taking its due course”, said Fadi Farhan, Director of Governmental Relations for CAIR-Chicago.
CAIR-Chicago is a local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group with 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
To read about CAIR-Chicago’s mission statement, vision and principles, go to http://www.cairchicago.org/
A supervisor allegedly told the plaintiff that the FBI and CIA were looking for him, that his home would be broken into and that he would be shot. The last comment was allegedly made while the supervisor made a gun shape of his hand and “fired” toward the plaintiff. The supervisor also allegedly asked the plaintiff if he was going to kill his co-workers.
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