On August 12th, Tulsa, Oklahoma resident Khalid Jabara was murdered in what appears to be a hate crime. Stanley Vernon Majors, the man accused of Jabara’s murder, had insulted Khalid on numerous occasions, referring to him and his family as “filthy Lebanese”, “dirty Aye-rabs”, and “Mooslems”. From police reports and statements by the family, it would seem that Majors’ anti-Muslim bigotry reached its boiling point when he shot and killed Khalid. But Khalid Jabara, like the rest of his family, are Orthodox Arab Christians.
The ignorance that drives anti-Muslim bigotry in America also affects people of other faiths. Shoulder to Shoulder has been working to support and amplify the work of our Muslim partners in promoting greater religious freedom, both in the United States and in Muslim-majority contexts around the world, such as through the recent Marrakesh Declaration. Attacks like the murder of Khalid Jabara undermine that important work. We’ve signed on to a letter from Muslim Advocates and the Arab American Institute along with fifty other advocacy, civil rights, community, and faith-based groups to demand that Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett direct law enforcement to conduct a fair and thorough investigation of the heinous murder of Khalid Jabara. The letter states, in part:
“In the last year, hate crimes targeting Arabs, Muslims, and those perceived to be either have skyrocketed,” said Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates staff attorney and lead for the Program to Counter Anti-Muslim Hate. “Unfortunately, there has also been a pattern of law enforcement officials minimizing the possibility that these crimes may be motivated by bigotry, sending a dangerous message that hate violence is not taken seriously. We call on law enforcement officials to aggressively investigate crimes like these to ensure the safety of all communities. The Jabara family and other victims of hate violence deserve that much.”
You can read the full text of the letter here.