Al-Marayati Speaks at Long Beach Hate Crime Press Conference

July 31, 2014

Last week, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati joined the Long Beach Police Department for a press conference about the case of a Muslim woman who recently experienced a hate crime in broad daylight in Long Beach, CA.

It was 4:30 in the afternoon and Muslim woman was packing her groceries in the trunk, when a man approached her and began his attack. The man allegedly grabbed her neck in an attempt to rip off her headscarf while aggravating his assault with elaborate profanity. After he managed to pull off her headscarf, he used it to choke her and subsequently ran away with it while screaming racist slurs about both her hijab and her religion.

The press conference was held in order to spread the word about the perpetrator and keep the Los Angeles community on the lookout. 

Among the speakers at the press conference were MPAC’s President Salam Al-Marayati. He addressed this issue not as an isolated incident, but as one terrorizing all religious and ethnic communities. The unfortunate reality is that racism is alive and thriving, and it is our responsibility to protect one another.

The Quran says, “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey God and His Messenger. Those - God will have mercy upon them. Indeed, God is Exalted in Might and Wise” (9:71).

At MPAC, we work to embody this crucial decree within Islam that sets the tone for a greater unity. As Al-Marayati addressed later that week, “MPAC works to prevent hate while connecting those impacted with the support they need in response to hate crimes. Because of our working relationships with key allies in government and law enforcement, we are able to demonstrate our positive force against those who want to do harm to our community and our institutions.”

After the press conference, Fellow Marwa Abdelghani was interviewed by KTLA5 and KCAL9 about her feelings on the issue.

“It frightens me to know that I, or anyone I know, can be attacked on the basis of how I look or what I’m wearing on top of my head," said Abdelghani. “I’m here because I support the cause of joining hands with those that keep our communities secure so we can help prevent these hate crimes from ever happening again.”

The Long Beach Police Department is still searching for the perpetrator, along with the assistance and partnership of MPAC.

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