(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/19/2018) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a Maryland county judge’s decision to uphold hate crime-related charges in a high school graffiti case.
Howard County Circuit Court judge Timothy J. McCrone denied a request by attorneys for two local teens to drop hate-crime related charges on the basis that racial slurs and swastikas found in Glenelg High School were constitutionally protected under free speech.
“I think this would be a much more compelling argument if we were talking about your clients had allegedly sprayed their own homes with these obnoxious messages,” the judge said. “I welcome them to do that at their parents’ home.”
This comes after four Glenelg High School seniors were charged with hate crimes and additional offenses after racial slurs and swasikas were found spray-painted on the school’s parking lot, sidewalks and walls last May.
Attorneys of Matthew Lipp, 18, and Tyler Curtiss, 18, filed separate motions to dismiss three counts related to religious or racial harassment after all four students were charged with seven-count indictments.
“By upholding hate crime charges in this case, law enforcement authorities are sending a message that bias-motivated intimidation and destruction of property will not be tolerated,” said Maryland Outreach Director Zainab Chaudry. “During this time of rapidly increasing bigotry and racism, it is important to show that hate crimes are unacceptable and will be punished by law.”
She noted an unprecedented spike in bigotry and hate crimes since the election of Donald Trump as president.
The Washington-based civil rights organization and the American Muslim community have in the past expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and many other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings.
Earlier this week, CAIR welcome hate crime charges for an attack on an African-American Woman in Louisiana.
Recently, CAIR also condemned racist and Islamophobic stickers found in a Rhode Island town.
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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry,firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062