CAIR-Chicago Litigation Director Kevin Vodak presented the “Hate Crime and Bias Awareness” conference on September 15th, 2011 to discuss the ways in which law enforcement agencies can improve their procedures and techniques in addressing hate crimes.
CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham, who attended the hearing with Amal Abusumayyah, said afterward, “We are hopeful that this sent a message to the public that sort of behavior will not be tolerated by a fair and just society.”
CAIR-Chicago announced today that it is pleased with the plea agreement reached yesterday between state prosecutors and Valerie Kenney, a suburban woman who faced hate crime charges after attacking a Muslim woman at a Tinley Park grocery store 2 days after the Fort Hood shooting.
Amal Abusumayah says Valerie Kenney, 54, complained loudly in a Tinley Park grocery aisle about a November shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. Police say Kenney also pulled on Abusumayah’s headscarf.
A southwest suburban woman who was charged with a hate crime against another woman pled guilty Tuesday and was sentenced to probation and mandatory anger management and diversity understanding classes, according to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
“It gives her an opportunity to learn from her mistake,” said Christina Abraham of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “And we think this does send a message to the greater community that hate crimes are not going to be tolerated and that this sort of behavior is wrong.”
An official with the Chicago-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which became involved in the case, said the backlash against Muslim-Americans had spiked somewhat in the days immediately following the Fort Hood shooting but has subsided.
“We try to rally community support for (victims and their families) and to make sure the state’s attorney is pursuing the case with the utmost importance,” said spokeswoman Christina Abraham.
“Hate crimes are their own class of crime for a very good reason: The enhanced classification and punishment deters people from criminally acting out on their bigotry. It is the government’s obligation to its citizens to take a no-tolerance position on such crimes,” writes Ahmed Rehab.
“Ironically, if those who are viscerally opposed to the sight of a hijabi actually took the time to look at the facts of her life, they may realize that hijabis make for a positive stereotype worthy of their admiration rather than a negative one they ought to fear,” writes Ahmed Rehab.
Two days after the Fort Hood shootings, a Tinley Park, Ill., woman grumbled about the massacre and tugged the headscarf of a US-born Muslim woman, Amal Abusumayah, standing in line at a local grocery store.
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