February 23, 2017

After Kansas Murder, NIAC Calls on Trump to Condemn Anti-Immigrant Violence

Contact: Elham Khatami
Phone: 202-386-6325
Email: [email protected]

The National Iranian American Council is horrified and outraged by the shooting of three people in Olathe, Kansas Wednesday evening. NIAC sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibotla, who passed away, and Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot, both of whom are recovering from injuries.

The alleged shooter, 51-year-old Navy veteran Adam Purinton, was reportedly heard using racial slurs and yelling “get out of my country” before attacking the three men at a restaurant. He was arrested at a bar later that evening after telling the bartender that he had killed two Middle Eastern men. Two of the three victims were of Indian descent.

Unfortunately, this heinous crime is one among a disturbing and increasing trend of crimes against people of color in the United States. According to the FBI statistics, hate crimes against Muslims, and those who appear to be Muslim, have reached their highest levels since the aftermath of 9/11. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently reported a 197 percent rise in anti-Muslim hate groups in the past year, an increase that has been attributed to President Donald Trump’s statements about Muslims. Iranian Americans have been victimized by the concerning rise in hate crimes, as recent incidents in San Francisco and New Orleans make clear. The administration’s executive order banning individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries has only exacerbated these racial tensions and hate crimes against Muslims.

The Trump administration has done little to quell such sentiment. While President Trump finally condemned recent anti-Semitic actions this week, it was only after significant public pressure following the administration’s initial silence. Sadly, the President has not only been shamefully silent about anti-Muslim violence and bigotry, but rather he has actively fanned those flames with his remarks and policies. It is incumbent on him to condemn these attacks and end his own hateful rhetoric.

This incident is a devastating reminder of the importance of working together to confront the hatred and racism that continues to plague our nation. Such crimes are a brutal assault on all of us, as Americans, and on the values and principles upon which this country was founded. We will continue to stand in solidarity with all marginalized communities in the United States in our fight for a more tolerant and peaceful future.

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