CAIR-Chicago Addresses Bias Against Muslim American Police Officer in Press Conference

(Milwaukee, WI - October 20, 2005) – CAIR-Chicago’s Director of Communications, Ahmed Rehab, and Civil Rights Coordinator, Christina Abraham, organized a press conference in collaboration with Officer Ayman Khatib’s legal counsel, Robert Mihelich to address a complaint filed by Officer Khatib for race, religious, and national origin discrimination against the City of Milwaukee Police Department. Following the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the attitudes of Officer Khatib’s colleagues toward him and all persons from the Middle East changed dramatically. Officer Khatib, who was harassed by his supervisors and fellow officers because of his race, national origin and religion, was repeatedly referred to as “towel head,” “sand nigger” and “camel jockey” by supervisors and fellow officers. After severely injuring his tailbone in the line of duty, and constantly suffering discrimination and harassment by fellow officers, Officer Khatib was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and has filed several complaints to the police department internally without any response.

While filing for Duty Disability Retirement as a result of his injury and PTSD, Officer Khatib was falsely accused of making threats against his police district. Without investigating the claim, a SWAT team was issued to surround Officer Khatib’s home and arrest him. Charges were later dropped by the District Attorney after they proved to be untrue.

Local ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC television news cameras were present at the press conference, and the story was covered by the local NPR radio station and Milwaukee’s major paper, the Milwaukee Journal. CAIR-Chicago will continue to offer both moral and professional support to Officer Khatib and his attorney.

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