Press Releases

CAIR-SV to Call for Rejection of Islamophobia After Calif. Muslim Shot Dead in Hate Attack

CAIR-logo(SACRAMENTO, CA, 3/27/14) – Later today, the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) will hold a news conference with community leaders to call on state and national leaders to speak out against growing Islamophobia.

WHAT: News Conference to Denounce Hate Murder, Growing Islamophobia
WHEN: Thursday, March 27, 1 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR-SV Office, 717 K Street, Suite 217, Sacramento, CA 95814
CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, 916-289-3748,

That call comes after a Muslim man of Iraqi heritage was shot and killed in a Home Depot parking lot allegedly because the assailant had “severe hatred” of Middle Easterners and was incensed by the Islamic headscarf (hijab) worn by the victim's sister.

Police say Hassan Alawsi's assailant stalked him in the Sacramento, Calif., parking lot before gunning him down on March 16.

SEE: Authorities Describe Killing of Man Outside Home Depot as Racially Motivated (Sacramento Bee)

“Only clear condemnation of increasing anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society will send the message that the targeting of American Muslims because of their faith or appearance is unacceptable,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra. “For too long, our nation's leaders have remained silent as hate-mongers spew their Islamophobic venom.”

Elkarra noted that the mother of a CAIR-SV board member was recently targeted by a man shouting Islamophobic slurs in the parking lot of a local shopping center.

On Tuesday, CAIR distributed video showing opponents of a Muslim cemetery in Tennessee harassing a student journalist apparently because of her hijab, while claiming Islam is “not a religion.” The Washington-based civil rights organization challenges anti-Muslim hate on a daily basis.

Video: Tenn. Mosque Opponents Say Islam 'Not a Religion,' Harass Muslim Journalist
See also: Clarion Fund's New Islamophobic Film, “Honor Diaries” 

Also Tuesday, CAIR's Chicago chapter called for an FBI hate crime investigation after a bullet was reportedly fired at the dome of the Prayer Center of Orland Park (OPPC) in Orland Park, Ill.

Video: CAIR-Chicago Requests Heightened Security for Mosque Targeted by Bullet

Last Sunday, CAIR-SV called on local law enforcement authorities to consider hate crime charges against a man who allegedly called a Muslim woman wearing hijab a “terrorist” and tried to hit her with his car in a Stockton, Calif., parking lot.

CAIR-SV also recently called for a similar investigation of vandalism of a California mosque.

Earlier this month, CAIR called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for a shooting incident targeting a Mississippi mosque.

Also this month, a man threatened staff at CAIR's Columbus, Ohio, office.

CAIR's Washington state chapter recently held a news conference to ask the FBI to investigate apparently bias-motivated incidents targeting a mosque in that state.

In December, CAIR urged a hate crime probe of hate graffiti sprayed on the Islamic Society of the Appalachian Region near Princeton, W.Va. 

Last year, CAIR welcomed an arrest in the case of a Joplin, Mo., mosque targeted by arson in 2012.

In response to previous attacks on American mosques, CAIR published a booklet called “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.

To request a free e-copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” go to:    

CAIR recently published a major report, “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,” which identifies 37 organizations dedicated to promoting the type of anti-Islam prejudice that can lead to bias-motivated incidents targeting American Muslims.

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.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916-289-3748,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171,


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