(CHICAGO, IL, 2/4/16) – The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today called for an investigation of racist and Islamophobic emails sent by University of Chicago fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.
The emails defended the use of the n-word, made plans to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at a fried chicken restaurant, named “dynamite and C-4” explosives as fixtures of Islamic culture, and referred to a Muslim student active in student government as a “terrorist.”
The Muslim student referred to says she has reported such incidents regularly to University administration, however little to no action has been taken. She notes that the fraternity has targeted a range of minority students including African-Americans, but particularly Arab and Muslim students.
The historically Jewish fraternity says it develops leaders “for the future of the American Jewish community.” CAIR-Chicago is demanding that the fraternity issue an immediate and public apology as well as follow through with a serious investigation into the factors leading towards such a bigoted and blatantly racist culture within the group.
CAIR-Chicago also calls for a public statement from the University of Chicago denouncing this culture of bigotry as well as a review of how complaints of such behavior are addressed.
“These comments are dangerous and quite frankly make me worry about my safety and the safety of our community,” stated an undergraduate student majoring in political science at the University.
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said, “The comments made by members of this fraternity against Muslims and African-Americans are deplorable and do not belong anywhere in the vicinity of higher education. Moreover, they threaten students’ sense of safety and belonging. We expect both the governing body of the fraternity and the Dean’s office of Student Affairs to fully investigate, punish, and ensure non-repetition.”
CAIR-Chicago commends the unnamed fraternity member that leaked the emails noting that “bigotry is only defeated when witnesses expose, and speak out against it.”.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 312-212-1520, cell 202-870-0166, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-Chicago Communications Director Renner Larson, 312-212-1520, cell 217-390-9394, email@example.com