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February 27, 2017

Kansas Shooter Believed He Was Targeting Iranians

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

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) released the following statement:

“Last week we expressed our shock and condolences after a Kansas man allegedly shot three people he believed to be Middle Eastern, screaming “get out of my country.” Two of the men were Indian and one of them died in the shooting. We have now learned that the alleged killer said that he believed he was shooting Iranians.

“The growing levels of hatred and violence towards minorities in our country is deeply disturbing. From the increase in hate crimes against Muslims, to the bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers, to the alleged attempt to kill Iranians. Explaining away this phenomenon, turning a blind eye, or refusing to connect the dots is not acceptable.

“Americans are facing a homegrown threat to the safety of our families and to our country’s most fundamental values. We are witnessing domestic acts of terrorism inspired by the hatred that is being spewed from the top levels of our own government.

“President Donald Trump has made no effort to condemn this shooting but has instead fanned the flames of hatred. For over a year he called for Muslim bans and registries, he appointed some of the most notorious Islamophobic and anti-Iranian advisors in Washington, and in his first week in office he banned everyone from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including ordinary Iranians, from coming to the U.S.

“Not a single Iranian has ever been implicated in a terrorism-related death in the U.S., but now at least one innocent person has been killed by someone who thought they were Iranian.

“Many Iranian Americans know firsthand what happens when the top levels of government embraces hateful rhetoric and puts it into action. We will not stand by and watch America’s leaders promote hatred and violence at home. We will stand united, as Americans, to ensure that the values and rights that make this country great are protected and that nobody feels threatened by the government because of their race, religion or national origin.”

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