“It’s something that we must take very seriously,” said CAIR-Chicago executive director Ahmed M. Rehab. “CAIR-Chicago is very disturbed by this news. The Muslim community is disturbed. People of conscience are disturbed. We’ve called police to investigate it, and to prosecute it as a hate crime, because that’s what it is.”
A stabbing at the Champaign train station this week is not a hate crime, according to the charges filed by the state’s attorney’s office. But an advocacy group disagrees. Amina Sharif, spokeswoman for the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Thursday it’s important to discourage prejudice.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez says Arab Americans are told to check white for race. But for many of the estimated four million Arab-Americans – that doesn’t seem to be telling the whole story.
Reema Ahmad is with the Council on American Islamic Relations. She says the most important thing, is civic duty. Especially since some Arab pockets of the city had low participation for the last census.
Amina Sharif, spokeswoman for the American-Islamic council, said she was unsure why this most recent fatwa, or religious ruling, has received so much attention. While she thinks it is important for community members to be outspoken in their disapproval of violence, she said it is only half the battle. “We can condemn terrorism every day in our mosques,” Sharif said. “But if no one’s communicating that to the public it’s not happening.”
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