Press Releases

CAIR-NY Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Murder Suspect Who Shouted ‘F—ing Arabs, Muslims and Terrorists’

(NEW YORK, NY, 12/15/17) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the arrest of Mark Thomas for the murder of Abdul Yafaee, an 80-year-old store clerk who was killed on Thursday night.

CAIR-NY is also calling for hate crime charges in the case.

According to police, Thomas, a 41-year-old Brooklyn resident, fired 11 shots at Yafee while he was working at the 797 Deli at 791 Stanley Avenue. Despite reports that Thomas said “f—ing Arabs, Muslims and terrorists” shortly before killing Mr. Yafee, NYPD officials have stated that this “was not related to any bias or hate, so is NOT a Hate Crime.” Thomas faces charges of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon.

SEE: Brooklyn man charged in deli clerk’s murder cursed ”˜Arabs, Muslims and terrorists’

“While we are grateful that police were quickly able to make an arrest in this gruesome case, we’re shocked by the finding that this was not bias-motivated,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “We urge the Brooklyn district attorney’s office to charge this murder as the hate crime that it was.”

Community members are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, Esq.,, 917 669-4006; CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, Esq.,, 571-766-6273


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