(ST. LOUIS, MO, 2/29/2016) â€“ The St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) today welcomed a hate crime charge brought against an armed man who allegedly made death threats targeting a Muslim family.
Earlier today, CAIR-St. Louis, a member of the family that was allegedly threatened and representatives of the local Muslim community met with St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch to request that charge.
Leonard Debello was charged with â€œunlawful use of a weapon motivated by discrimination.â€ The charging document states: â€œLeonard Debello. . .knowingly exhibited in the presence of one or more persons a silver and black handgun, weapon readily capable of lethal use, in an angry or threatening manner, and the defendant knowingly did so because of Rabie Ayoub and Marwah Abdul Husseinâ€™s race, religion or national origin.â€
â€œWe welcome the hate crime charge brought in this case and hope the prosecutorâ€™s actions send the message that alleged acts of violence and intimidation prompted by anti-Muslim bigotry will not be tolerated,â€ said CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed.Â
“I and my family are so happy that this man is finally being charged,” said Rabie Ayoub. “My children can now go outside without worrying about their lives, my wife can finally peacefully leave the home and I can go to work without worrying all day about them.â€
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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