(KANSAS CITY, KS, 11/30/16) – The Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas) today welcomed guilty pleas resulting from a June 19, 2015, hate attack on three Somali-Americans in Dodge City.
CAIR-Kansas also thanked federal authorities for their successful prosecution of the case.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release:
“Armando Sotelo, 24, pleaded guilty today to a hate crime offense for his role in a June 19, 2015, assault of a black Somali man in Dodge City, Kansas. Omar Cantero Martinez, 32, also pleaded guilty today to providing perjured testimony during a hate crimes prosecution arising from the same assault. . .
“During Sotelo’s plea hearing, he admitted that he assaulted the victim, identified as M.H.D., because of M.H.D.’s race and national origin. Sotelo admitted that he, with the assistance of two other men, approached M.H.D., who is black and from Somalia, while M.H.D. was sitting with two other Somali men on a bench outside the African Market. The defendant approached the bench from one side, while the two other men approached the bench from the other. Sotelo and the other men all yelled racial and anti-Somali slurs at M.H.D. and at the two other Somalis on the bench. “
Dear CAIR Supporters,
As-salaamu Alaikum – Peace be to you.
On Giving Tuesday, help CAIR provide legal services to the American Muslim community by donating.
Please donate to the CAIR's 2016 Giving Tuesday campaign today.
This is a challenging and critical moment for our nation. Islamophobia is on the rise and infamous Islamophobes are being selected for key and powerful roles in the new administration. Anti-Muslim rhetoric has triggered an unbelievable spike of hate crimes targeting Muslims and other minorities. CAIR has recorded more than 100 incidents specifically targeting Muslims post-election.
We need your help in order to increase our legal capacity to provide free legal services for those in need, protect your rights and be your voice in the face of present challenges.
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From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful for your generosity in helping us protect the civil rights of American Muslims and all Americans, to challenge growing Islamophobia and to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. CAIR is here for you.
CAIR National Executive Director
(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 11/28/16) – Later today, the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) will hold a news conference with local Somali-American and Muslim community leaders to respond to an attack on the campus of Ohio State University in which the suspect has tentatively been identified as a man of Somali heritage.
WHAT: CAIR-Ohio News Conference with Somali, Muslim Leaders
WHEN: Monday, November 28, 6 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR-Ohio Office, 4242 Tuller Road, Suite B2, Dublin, OH 43017
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
November 28, 2016
James B. Comey Director Federal Bureau of Investigation 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
RE: Investigation of Threat Letters Sent to Mosques Nationwide
Dear Director Comey:
As the leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, I write to request a formal FBI investigation into a campaign of threatening letters targeting mosques nationwide.
CAIR chapters in California and Georgia report that letters threating genocide targeting American Muslims have been sent to at least six mosques in those states.
The hand-written letters describe Muslims as "Children of Satan” and a "vile and filthy people." The letters also warn Muslims to "pack your bags and get out of dodge" because President-elect Donald Trump is "going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he's going to start with you Muslims. He's going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” The letters conclude, "This is a great time for patriotic Americans. Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A."
Mosques that have reported to CAIR that they have received the letters include:
• Granada Hills Masjid
• Islamic Center of Northridge
• Islamic Center of Claremont
• Evergreen Islamic Center
• Islamic Center of Long Beach
• Islamic Center of Savannah
Our offices are currently in contact with leaders of other mosques nationwide to find out if they have also received the same letter. In the past, many similar hate incidents have gone unreported.
As you know, it is a federal crime to threaten or intimidate people because of their religion in order to interfere with their exercise of federally-guaranteed rights.
You are also likely aware that there has been an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in recent months and that the rise in anti-Muslim incidents accelerated following the November 8 presidential election. In addition, data collected by your own agency indicate that Anti-Muslim incidents jumped 67 percent in 2015.
I therefore respectfully request that the FBI investigate these letters as a violation of federal law and take appropriate action in response. We believe that only a vigorous investigation of this matter will reassure Muslim Americans that the civil rights and liberties of all Americans will be protected in the face of violent threats against their free exercise of religion.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this critical matter.
Nihad Awad National Executive Director Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)