Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Confirmed Hate Crimes in our Area|
|09/23/01 at 23:48:35|
|from TU, janaza was yesterday, inna lillah wa inna ilaihi rajeoon|
Local man found slain in Syracuse
Police say they have no evidence that death of Mohamed Yousif Mohamed, 34, was hate crime
By BRENDAN LYONS, Staff writer
First published: Friday, September 21, 2001
SYRACUSE -- A Schenectady man shot to death this week while visiting friends in Syracuse was of Middle Eastern descent, but detectives said they do not have any evidence indicating that his heritage played a role in the killing.
Mohamed Yousif Mohamed, 34, of Strong Street, was found shot to death Tuesday afternoon in a patch of woods near a residential neighborhood in south Syracuse. Police searched the area and found Mohamed's body after a resident reported a suspicious car parked in a vacant lot.
The car turned out to be Mohamed's 1995 Land Rover, which had blood in it and was still running when police found it at 2:25 p.m. Tuesday. Three doors of the vehicle were open when police arrived, and they said an autopsy indicated Mohamed had been shot less than two hours before his body was discovered.
"I can tell you we have definitely explored a lot of avenues as far as looking to see if this was a hate crime or had anything to do with his nationality,'' said Syracuse Detective Thomas Connellan. "As of this point we have no evidence to believe this was any type of hate crime and we are looking at some other (motives).''
Hate crimes targeting people of Middle Eastern heritage have been on the rise across the nation since the World Trade Center attacks last week, according to police.
Mohamed, who went by the nickname "Alex,'' had lived in Syracuse for several years and worked at a convenience store there before moving to Schenectady several months ago, authorities said.
"From what we're told he would come to Syracuse and visit people two to three times a month,'' Connellan said. "We know that his family is in the business of owning some markets, and we're trying to see if that had anything to do with it and whether robbery was a motive.''
Mohamed was shot several times, but authorities declined to say what type of weapon was used.
A relative of Mohamed's who lives in Schenectady traveled to Syracuse on Wednesday and identified his body. Mohamed was not carrying identification, but someone in the neighborhood where he was shot recognized his car and told police he had moved to Schenectady, Connellan said.
There was no answer at the door to Mohamed's residence on Strong Street Thursday afternoon. Mail was still in the mailbox, next to the front door.
A neighbor said he did not know Mohamed. "He just moved in there recently,'' he said.
|Re: Confirmed Hate Crimes in our Area|
|09/24/01 at 00:16:57|
Racial backlash flares at colleges
September 21, 2001 Posted: 12:24 PM EDT (1624 GMT)
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Across the country, universities have become a focal point of anger directed against Arab-American, Muslim and Southeast Asian students in response to last week's terror attacks against the United States.
Women students have been spat at and had their traditional hijab scarves pulled off. Male students have had turbans plucked from their heads or been targeted because of their beards.
"People have yelled, 'You people are going to die,' 'The Holy War has begun,' and 'Go home,' even at those who've been born in San Jose," said Altaf Husein, president of the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada.
Early Sunday morning, a Boston University student was stabbed in the back and arms after leaving an off-campus fundraiser for victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Police are investigating whether it was a hate crime. No arrests have been made.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee says it has compiled a list of more than 250 violent incidences on college campuses in the last week, from direct threats of specific violence to beatings and assault and battery. The number of incidents has surpassed those received during the Gulf War and the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
"These are not 'go back to your country' types of harassment, but crimes that have to be dealt with by cops on and off campus," said Hussein Ibish, director of the ADC. "The university is kind of a dangerous place to be for people perceived as Arabs and Muslims right now."
Even Latino and African-American students are being targeted.
Ibish says the committee itself has received thousands of hate calls and e-mail threats, requiring it to have police protection.
The day of the attacks, the University of Colorado at Boulder sent out an e-mail message to 34,000 students and faculty urging people not to take anger out on minorities. The school set up counselors in 19 locations and mobilized local and campus ministers. Professors were urged to spend class time discussing what happened. Faculty members met with Muslim students to discuss safety concerns. Residence halls invited campus police to discuss what to do in the case of harassment or violence. The University's Student Union even passed a resolution condemning any person who retaliates against a student, faculty or staff member.
On Tuesday night, four men dressed in black approached a Muslim student of Arab descent as he was walking near the University of Colorado's library.
"They asked him, 'What are you doing in this country?' and used racial epithets," said Lt. Mitchell Irving, of the campus police.
The next morning, each of the library's six columns were discovered spray-painted with graffiti: "Arabs Go Home," "Nuke sand n-----rs" and "Blow up Afghanistan" on a nearby bench.
Ironically, the motto etched in stone above the library's columns is: "Enter here the timeless fellowship of the human spirit."
The university quickly covered the columns with garbage bags and sandblasted the graffiti away.
"You hear people making comments that 'they should all be put in concentration camps,' totally random comments from fellow students. Or you hear somebody in class say, 'We need to hit them hard.' And I ask, hit whom, hit where?" said Amina Nawaz, president of the Muslim Students Association, who was born in Boulder.
"The campus is an intellectual place to be in. Most people here are here to learn and aren't ignorant. But ignorant people are everywhere. You can't get away from it."
The Univarsity of Colorado has set up a series of lectures to discuss the breakdown of stereotypes. On Monday, it will host a five-hour teach-in, with professors from religious studies, political science, history, economics, and journalism.
"It will be like a love-in from the '60's," said Bobbi Barrow, executive director of University Communications. Audience members will get to ask questions on issues ranging from the consequences of last week's attacks on the Middle East to the media's role in shaping perceptions.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee says much of the intolerance can be reduced simply by learning more about Arab and Muslim Americans and Islam.
"Students need an institutional response," said Marvin Wingfield, education director of the ADC. "Students can also make sure others are not isolated or stigmatized. You can call friends to see how they're doing. And if they're not in school, you can let them know they're your friend and that you're sorry about what's happening."
On Wednesday night, more graffiti was uncovered at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
"They were anti-racist," said campus police lieutenant Tim McGraw. "'An eye for an eye leaves us blind,' 'Say no to hate' over a dove and peace symbol."
He added that the graffiti artist still wouldn't escape criminal mischief charges if caught.
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