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Hate Crime Lawsuit Filed In Anti-Muslim Bombing

(CHICAGO) – On Thursday, March 17th Abbas Salmi and his family filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Eric K. Nix for bombing the family s van in Burbank, IL on March 21, 2003. According to the lawsuit, Nix threw a large, mortar-type firework into the Salmi family s van parked in front of their home. The bomb exploded, causing irreparable damage to the vehicle and terrifying family members who were home at the time, including Salmi, his wife, two small children, sister, and parents. The Plaintiffs, Muslim-Americans of Palestinian descent, allege they were attacked because of their ancestry, nationality and/or religion.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for loss of civil rights, emotional distress and property damage.In September 2003, Nix pled guilty to arson and hate crime charges for the bombing.The 26-year-old was also convicted of criminal damage to property in 2001 for vandalizing an Arab-owned furniture store two days after the 9/11 attacks. “Bombing an innocent family s property because of their religion or ethnicity is unconscionable and terrorizes entire communities,” said Diana M. Lin, Chicago Lawyers= Committee Equal Justice Works Fellow.AAll Americans grieved after the 9/11 attack, including Muslim and Arab Americans.

The Salmi family is represented by Betsy Shuman-Moore and Diana M. Lin of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. and pro bono attorneys Russell E. Cass and Brian McAleenan of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP. “We hope to obtain just compensation for the Salmis for the suffering they have endured, and the damage to their van, said Shuman-Moore, Aas well as deter others from committing violent hate crimes, the most extreme form of racism and discrimination. For 35 years, the Chicago Lawyers Committee, through its 40-plus member law firms, staff and legal team, has provided free legal services to challenge discrimination and other civil rights violations in both the public and private sectors.

For further information about the Chicago Lawyers= Committee, contact Clyde Murphy at 312-630-9744, or visit .

For further information, contact: Betsy Shuman-Moore, Chicago Lawyers Committee, 312-630-9744,


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