Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Firing of Ind. Officer for Neo-Nazi Ties, Condemns Racist Vandalism on Native Land in Minn. and Racist Halloween Display in Wyo.

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/19/2020) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the firing of a Lafayette, Ind. police recruit for alleged ties to a neo-Nazi forum, condemned racist vandalism on native land near Ponemah, Minn. and a racist Halloween display of a scarecrow hung by a noose in Powell, Wyo.    

In Indiana, police recruit Joseph Zacharek reportedly participated in a forum called “Iron March” four years ago. His comments included that a country allowing “white immigration while denying any lesser races is the most ideal and lasting solution.” He also allegedly referred to African culture as “vile.”  

SEE: Indiana officer fired after ties to neo-Nazi internet forum are revealed

Indiana Cop Fired for Racist Comments on Neo-Nazi Forum

In Minnesota, a boundary sign near Ponemah was spray-painted with the message “Trump 2020,” and a Nazi swastika. Red Lake Tribal Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.   

SEE: Red Lake Tribal Police seek public’s help finding suspects in racist vandalism

In Wyoming, a scarecrow was found hanging from tree with a rope around its neck. The display was taken down following backlash on social media.    

SEE: Police Called to Investigate Halloween Display in Powell  

In a statement, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said: “Americans of all faiths and backgrounds must remain vigilant and continue to challenge all manifestations of racism and hate in our society.”  

He noted that CAIR recently welcomed the removal of a confederate monument in Lexington, N.C., and urged other North Carolina counties to follow suit.     

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Removal of Confederate Monument in North Carolina, Urges Removal of Others in the State, Condemns White Supremacist Stickers  

The American Muslim community and CAIR are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.             

Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Speaks at Unveiling of Black Lives Matter Banner

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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 Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,     

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