(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/28/2009) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for the murder of a Texas convenience store owner, allegedly shot to death by a suspected white supremacist.
Surveillance video showed that the store owner, 50-year-old Naushad Virani, was shot during a robbery Friday night in Liberty County, Texas. Local authorities are investigating whether the murder was a hate crime. When arrested, the alleged killer told deputies: “When I saw that all of you were white I decided to give up and not fight.” He also reportedly admitted that he shot the store owner.
The suspect in the case has a lengthy criminal record and is believed to be a member of a white supremacist group. He has many tattoos, including a Nazi SS symbol on the right side of his neck. A CAIR representative in Texas is in touch with the family of the victim.
SEE: Alleged White Supremacist Jailed in Killing (Houston Chronicle)
Sheriff: Capital Murder Suspect Admitted to Crime
“While robbery may have been a motivating factor in this case, the FBI should join local law enforcement authorities in examining racial and religious hatred as a possible motive for the murder,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He said a Sikh youth apparently mistaken for a Muslim was recently attacked in Texas. The alleged attackers reportedly told the victim: “I’m going to **** you up in Iraq, I’m going to **** you up in Afghanistan, I’m going to **** you up over here.”
SEE: Sikh Youth Attacked in Texas
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com