For more information contact:

MAI Executive Director Aliya Amin at 317-306-1998 or [email protected] 
and 
IMAN Executive Director Hiba Alami at 317-798-0688 or [email protected]

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

FAMILY OF MUSTAFA AYOUBI TO ADDRESS MEDIA PRIOR TO HEARING

Zahra Ayoubi, sister of Mustafa Ayoubi, will address the media at the Marion County Courthouse on Friday morning at 8:30 prior to the initial hearing proceedings for Dustin Passarelli on February 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM.  

On Saturday, suspect Dustin Passarelli followed the victim, 32-year old IU graduate Mustafa Ayoubi, on I-465 near 38th street. Upon exiting the interstate, the suspect followed Ayoubi to his destination, an apartment complex near Eagle Creek, and shot the victim multiple times. The suspect has been arrested on a preliminary charge of murder and booked into the Marion County Jail, according to the IMPD.    

Eye witnesses said the suspect was “shouting anti-Islamic slurs at them and was telling them to ‘get out of our country, you are foreigners.'” (SEE: WIBC)  

Hoosier Muslim community leaders are calling on local law enforcement to vigorously investigate a possible hate crime motive for the murder of Mustafa Ayoubi, irrespective of the status of any hate crime legislation pending in the State.

WHO: Zahra Ayoubi, sister of victim Mustafa Ayoubi

WHAT: Initial Hearing Proceedings for Suspect Dustin Passarelli

WHEN: Friday, February 22 at 9:00 AM 

WHERE: Indianapolis Criminal Division 4. Address: 200 E. Washington St. #W203, Indianapolis, IN 46204

In a statement, Aliya Amin, Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, said: 

“We believe the initial characterization of this heinous crime as a road rage incident does not fully take into account that the victim’s friends, who were direct eye-witnesses, state that the suspect targeted them because of their religion and ethnicity.  Multiple eyewitness accounts of a possible hate crime motive ought to be more than enough impetus for police to pursue that possibility.  Regardless of the lack of a hate crime law on the books, the victim’s family and the Indiana Muslim community deserve full transparency about the suspect’s motives, and we expect the IMPD to share the results of any preliminary investigation.”  

In a statement, Hiba Alami, the Executive Director of IMAN, said:

“While our legislature debates the language of a proposed hate crimes statute,  the hate-motivated murder this weekend tragically demonstrates how real this issue is to Muslim and other marginalized communities.  Hate crimes target the entire community because any one of us could have been on Interstate 465 that day and become a target.  We hope to hear from the IMPD soon regarding the suspect’s complete motive, which would include taking into account the eyewitnesses.” 

In a statement, Arsalan Bukhari, Strategic Communications Manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said:

“We have witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants, and members of other minority groups since 2016.  When government officials promote hateful rhetoric on the national level, or here at the state level do not recognize hate crimes, tragedies like what has befallen the Ayoubi family are only made worse.”   

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported a sharp rise in anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes since 2016 (see: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/hate-crimes-against-us-muslims-have-jumped-since-2016-2018-04-24), and the FBI reported a sharp overall rise in hate crimes since 2016 as well (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/us/hate-crimes-fbi-2017.html).   

Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) envisions a future in which thriving and integrated Hoosier Muslims serve their broader communities and the state, and in which they are considered as an indispensable component of Indiana’s political, economic, religious and social fabrics. It also works towards building a broad Hoosier Muslim community that is strong in its diversity, inclusive, and is capable of effective collective action to preserve its civil rights and liberties, along with those of other vulnerable groups. www.indianamuslims.org

Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network (IMAN) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization that strives to provide Muslim Hoosiers an educated, organized and amplified political voice advocating for positive civic and political changes in the State of Indiana. http://imanactivists.org/

END

This year’s Annual Banquet will highlight the diversity of the Hoosier Muslim community. There is no one definition of being Muslim and the Muslim identity is what we make it. We are thrilled to welcome Melanie Elturk, founder and CEO of Haute Hijab, as our keynote speaker for this year’s event!

MAI is proud to serve all those who identify as Muslims and their allies, and provide platforms to connect and empower one another through advocacy, civic engagement and community service. We look forward to celebrating some of this year’s brightest Muslim Hoosiers and allies during our Annual Banquet Awards Ceremony.

We will also be hosting several pre-banquet activities. The community fair will feature businesses and organizations that are owned by or serve Muslims in the community, giving attendees a chance to learn about and support their neighbors.

If you are interested in sponsoring, exhibiting at the community fair, or submitting a nomination for this year’s awards, please send an email to [email protected]