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CAIR-MA Welcomes Conviction of Man Who Attacked Muslim Grandmother

(BOSTON, MA, 2/14/19) – The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) today welcomed the conviction of Sean Devlin, who attacked a Muslim grandmother on her way to Ramadan services in 2017. 

Devlin was convicted of four charges for which he was indicted, including two hate crime offenses. Tomorrow, Devlin will be sentenced by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders.

SEE: Judge Finds Man Guilty of Accosting, Attacking Muslim Woman on MBTA

CAIR-MA represents the victim, Malika Touirtou, and provided victim advocacy services since the 2017 attack.

“It can take a village to bring a perpetrator to justice,” said Barbara J. Dougan, CAIR-MA’s Civil Rights Director. “In this case, we are grateful to the MBTA police, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Elders and Persons with Disabilities Unit, the witnesses who stepped forward and the bystanders who prevented Devlin from leaving the scene.  But most of all, we are grateful to Ms. Touirtou, for her courage to stand up to the coward who attacked a woman nearly twice his age for wearing a hijab (Muslim headscarf).”

Devlin first accosted the victim, then 61, as she was taking the Orange Line to her mosque at night for religious services during Ramadan, the month-long period during which Muslims fast and pray.  He screamed slurs at her and told her to “go back where you came from,” then punched the window near her head so hard that the window shattered.  As she was leaving the train, he followed her and struck her in the back with an umbrella, leaving bruises that lasted for weeks.

SEE: Muslim Victim Undeterred by Alleged Attack

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR-MA Civil Rights Director, Barbara J. Dougan, Esq., 781-281-9992,


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