“This tragic incident reflects the broader problem of bigotry and racism in our country, and highlights the rise of discrimination and hate crimes against people of Middle Eastern descent,” said Elham Khatami, NIAC’s National Outreach Director. “As we mourn Shayan’s passing, we urge prosecutors to take motive into consideration with the hope that Shayan is granted the justice he so deserves.”
A coalition of civil rights, faith, and advocacy groups, including NIAC, IAAB, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the Council on American Islamic Relations, submitted a letter to the Department of Justice this week, urging the agency to undertake an open and rigorous federal hate crime investigation into the killing of Mazroei.
“It is a tragedy that such a senseless act of violence has resulted in the loss of life of a young Iranian-American man. Reports that such violence was committed as a direct result of Mr. Mazroei’s Iranian heritage are a painful reminder that racism, bigotry, and extremism persist in our day and age,” the letter reads. “We hope that the U.S. Department of Justice will join us … by making a commitment to eradicate bias-motivated crimes and send a clear message to the American people that minority communities should not be left feeling vulnerable or isolated as a result of such acts of violence occurring in our communities.”