(BALTIMORE, MD, 5/22/17) — The Maryland Outreach Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the murder of an African-American Bowie State University student by a suspect who is a member of a white supremacist group on Facebook called “Alt-Reich Nation.”
The victim, Richard Collins III, 23, of Calvert County, was stabbed early Saturday morning on the University of Maryland College Park campus. He was preparing to graduate Tuesday. He had recently been commissioned into the army as a lieutenant.
The suspect, who is a University of Maryland student, has been charged with first degree murder. Police say the unprovoked attack is being investigated as a possibly racially-motivated crime because of the extreme bias toward women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith, and African-Americans exhibited by “Alt-Reich Nation.”
“This senseless crime is a costly reminder that Marylanders of all faiths and backgrounds must stand united to strongly reject racism and hatred in all its ugly forms,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry.
CAIR has reached out to university officials and to the family to offer condolences and support. The Muslim civil rights organization is also calling on Maryland Governor Hogan and other local and state leaders to repudiate the attack and strengthen hate crime laws in Maryland.
According to the most recent available statistics, Maryland saw a more than 30 percent increase in the number of hate crimes between 2014 to 2015 – from 162 to 203 in incidents. While data is not yet available for 2016, that number has spiked considerably since the 2016 presidential election.
Last week, CAIR condemned the planned cross-burning by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on Saturday in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
CAIR chapters in other states have similarly condemned rising bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups.
CAIR recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR’s 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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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