Press Releases

CAIR-Washington Welcomes Hate Crime Charge for Anti-Muslim, Racist Death Threats

screenshot www.seattlepi.com 2017 06 16 14 46 54(SEATTLE, WA, 6/16/17) – The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today welcomes a hate crime charge brought against a man in that state who allegedly made anti-Muslim and racist death threats targeting several people in Bellevue, Wash.

Prosecutors charged 55-year-old Kenneth Dean Sjarpe with a felony hate crime after he allegedly threatened to kill two Syrian-American men at a gas station and made a similar threat to a man from Ethiopia at a store in that city.

Sjarpe reportedly shouted ethnic and religious slurs such as “[go] back to your country” and “I’ll shoot you, you dirty Muslims.”

SEE: Prosecutors Charge Man with Hate Crime After Death Threats

Charges: Men Threatened in Bellevue with Racial Slurs

“We welcome the hate crime charge in this case and hope it sends a message that bias-motivated threats of violence will not be tolerated,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.

He noted that federal prosecutors yesterday announced new charges against a man accused of threatening a Florida mosque.

SEE: Miami Man Faces Hate Crimes Charges in Threat to Islamic Center

CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election and recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year.

SEE: CAIR Seeks Stepped-Up Protection for Colorado Mosques Following Phone Threat 

This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

SEE: New CAIR Report Shows More than 50 Percent Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, 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-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, abukhari@cair.com, 206-931-3655; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com  

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