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CHICAGO — In the wake of the recent war between Israel and Hamas, local Islamic leaders from around Chicago said they are receiving reports of hate and threats made against local Muslims at a rate worse than “the post-9/11 environment.”
In a press release Friday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago said they sought to address examples of recent hate-related incidents.
“This is the worst I have ever seen in 20 years, including the post-911 environment. This time around, they are even targeting our children,” said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR Chicago Executive Director. “The level of blind hatred and depravity we are witnessing should not be on us to condemn and prevent, that’s on our nation’s leaders on whose watch this America is emerging.”
Al Aqsa School in Bridgeview closed Friday after the school said they received a hate-filled, handwritten letter targeting Muslims. Officials with CAIR Chicago also said a Bridgeview resident received a similar note that stated, “Every Muslim must leave Bridgeview today, or die.”
CAIR Chicago also listed ten more Muslim-hate-related incidents that have happened in the Chicagoland area this week.
The list of threats and incidents come after hate crime charges were brought against a Lombard man who allegedly threatened to shoot two Muslim men, and Wadea Al-Fayoumi — a six-year-old Muslim American boy — was allegedly fatally stabbed 26 times by his landlord, who also attacked his mother.
Wadea’s mother, Hanaan Shanin, is still recovering from the attack in a local hospital, as of Friday evening.
“I call on our community to keep your courage, keep your faith,” Rehab said. “We’re not going to change our lifestyle. We’re not going to fall back and hide. We’re not going to cancel our events and it’s important to stand up tall and high while protecting yourselves.”