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CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charge for Threat to Shoot D.C. Muslims

Suspect: ”˜I’m going to shoot you, your customers, and the Muslims standing outside.’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/20/2019) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged law enforcement authorities to bring a hate crime charge in the case of an individual who allegedly threatened to kill the owner of a Washington D.C. Middle Eastern restaurant “and the Muslims standing outside.” 

Former Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bill Starrels reportedly walked into Charcoal Town Hookah and Shawarma on 31st Street NW and complained about loud noise and talking. Bashar Mehiar, the owner of the restaurant, told police that Starrels threatened to shoot him and his customers.

SEE: Ex-Georgetown ANC Charged in Threat to Shoot Restaurant Owner, ”˜Muslims Standing Outside’

Former Ward 2 ANC Charged with Threatening to Shoot a Man and ”˜All Muslims’ at a Middle Eastern Restaurant

This alleged bias-motivated threat and the increasing hate incidents nationwide are part of a dangerous trend targeting minority communities,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen. “The hateful nature of our political landscape has emboldened bigots with the belief that they can act with impunity.”

She noted that according to the Washington, D.C., Bias-Related Crime Act of 1989(D.C. Official Code § 22-3700 et. seq.), a hate crime “demonstrates an accused’s prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, homelessness, physical disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of a victim of the subject designated act.”

SEE: What Is a Hate Crime?

Ajeen added that CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Hate Crime Charges for Racist Incident in Wisconsin

CAIR-NY; Tariq Law Firm File #BankingWhileMuslim Federal Lawsuit Against Citibank

On November 9, CAIR will hold its 25th anniversary gala in Washington, D.C.

SEE: CAIR’s 25th Annual Gala

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, 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 National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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