The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Khalid Jabara who was killed on Friday, August 12, 2016 by one of his neighbors in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The suspected killer, Vernon Majors, has a history of harassing and threatening the Jabara family. Vernon Majors was motivated by anti- Arab and anti- Muslim hatred. The Jabaras are Christian Arabs of Lebanese descent.
AHRC condemns this hate crime and demands justice for the Jabaras. AHRC-USA considers this hate crime a reminder to those whose words and actions feed a culture of hate and contributes, directly and indirectly, to discrimination and even outright violence against fellow citizens of Arab decent and/or Muslim faith.
AHRC- USA joins the rest of the civil rights and the human rights community in urging the Arab and Muslim American community to be vigilant amidst the rise of anti- Arab and anti- Muslim rhetoric, especially during this charged electoral cycle.
“We are deeply saddened by the violent death of Mr. Jabara,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “We urge the police to re-examine their procedures when handling threats motivated by hate of Arabs and Muslims to better respond to the threat. The threat of a hate crime should be taken with the same seriousness of the threat of other terrorism,” said Hamad.
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Jabara Family Statement on the Murder of Khalid Jabara
August 15, 2016
On Friday night, our world was shattered when our brother, Khalid Jabara, was murdered on the front porch of our family home. The perpetrator was not unknown to us—he is our neighbor—someone whom we continuously brought to law enforcement’s attention. He killed our brother while awaiting trial for running over our mother, resulting in a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs amongst other injuries. Only 30 minutes prior to my brother’s shooting, Khalid called the police stating this man had a gun and that he was scared for what might happen. The police came and told him there was nothing to be done. Minutes later, the suspect murdered our brother with four shots.
My family lived in fear of this man and his hatred for years. Yet in May, not even one year after he ran over our mother and despite our repeated protests, he was released from jail with no conditions on his bond—no ankle monitor, no drug/alcohol testing, nothing.
This suspect had a history of bigotry against our family. He repeatedly attacked our ethnicity and perceived religion, making racist comments. He often called us “dirty Arabs,” “filthy Lebanese,” “Aye-rabs,” and “Mooslems”—a fact highlighted by the Tulsa Police Department who also heard these comments from the suspect. The suspect’s bigotry was not isolated to us alone. He made xenophobic comments about many in our community — “filthy Mexican” and the “n” word were all part of his hateful approach to anyone from a different background.
Today, in our pain, we are also keenly aware that this is not just another murder to be added to crime statistics. Our brother’s death could have been prevented. This man was a known danger. He intentionally tried to kill our mother less than one year ago when he ran her over with his car. Based on his racist comments towards us, he should have been charged with a hate crime then. He should not have been released without monitoring. Yet he was released and put back next door to us, the family he assaulted just months before. This is troubling at any time, but profoundly disturbing given the current climate of our country and the increase nationally in cases of hate crimes.
Our brother Khalid was just 37 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. He was a kind spirit, loving brother, uncle and son. Khalid’s heart was big. He cared for our entire family, our friends and people he didn’t even know. He created every Jabara family joke and filled our lives with love and laughter. All of that has been taken away from us by this hateful man and a system that failed to protect our community.
Press inquiries for the Jabara family may be sent to:
202-256-4096 or via email at email@example.com
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