WBEZ Worldview: Ahmed Rehab Speaks on Trump & Recent Hate Crimes
August 16, 2016 WBEZ 91.5fm spoke with Executive Director Ahmed Rehab on Trump and the recent string of hate crimes committed against Muslims from Oklahoma to New York. Below are a few notable quotes:
"It is about dismissing the humanity and aspirations and complexities of people who live in the Middle East. To [Trump] they are just potential terrorists who just need to be blocked off at the door--same thing with Latinos and Mexicans. That is the type of racist xenophobe he is that doesn't have any sense of the complexities of the world"
"[Muslims] are the ones giving the most life and limb fighting on the ground even as [Trump] sits in an air-conditioned office and spouts nonsense into a camera and into a microphone"
"Anytime we are in an election cycle we see a spike of hate crimes and reports of various violations of Muslims' civil rights to our offices. But we've seen this with an even greater spike this time around, and to us it is directly--maybe indirectly but it seems to be directly--tied and related to the Trump rhetoric and the media coverage of it which keeps it fresh in the news."
In regards to the recent assault of two Muslim women in Rogers Park last week (SEE: Media Advisory: CAIR-Chicago Calls for Probe of Hate Crime Against Muslim Mother, Daughter):
"The police charged [the attacker] with a simple assault. We're demanding a hate crime investigation because we don't want them to be the next victims. The next time she strikes who knows maybe it'll be fatal. That's what happened in Oklahoma. A neighbor had been harassing the family: he ran over his neighbor's elderly mother. Great injuries. While they were prosecuting him in court, in a lawsuit, he came and shot the son even though the son had warned the police that his life was in danger. The police said there is not much we can do. This isn't too different from what happened in Chapel Hill."
"Let's not be so reluctant to look at these crimes as hate crimes. When Muslims are perceived to commit a crime the assumption is it's related to their faith until proven otherwise. When they are victims of a crime the assumption is it must not be related to their faith unless absolutely proven otherwise. It should be an assumption--or at least a possibility--that we investigate this environment."