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Man voiced hatred for Muslims, Arabs before killing, victim’s family says

(RNS) A Lebanese-American man in Tulsa was shot to death by a man who — the victim’s family says — was acting on his hatred for Muslims and Arabs.

Khalid Jabara, 37, shot four times on his front porch Friday (Aug. 12), had long ago alerted police to a threatening neighbor who proclaimed his hatred for “Aye-rabs and Mooslems,” according to the family’s statement, which was published on Facebook.

The Jabara family says police should have done more to protect them from Vernon Majors, who confessed to the crime and called the family “filthy Lebanese,” according to a police report.

“The perpetrator was not unknown to us — he is our neighbor — someone whom we continuously brought to law enforcement’s attention. He killed our brother while awaiting trial for running over our mother, resulting in a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs amongst other injuries,” according to the family statement.

“Only 30 minutes prior to my brother’s shooting, Khalid called the police stating this man had a gun and that he was scared for what might happen. The police came and told him there was nothing to be done,” the statement continues.

Majors’ trial for the hit-and-run of Khalid Jabara’s mother is set for March 2017. He was released two months ago on $60,000 bail, over the objections of the Jabara family and prosecutors.

“The unfortunate murder of Jabara is a reflection of the impact and power of hateful rhetoric in politics and the society at large,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said in a statement.

“We can no longer continue to accept the rhetoric of bigotry and hate. When such rhetoric is given a platform, and is mainstreamed, it will lead to additional hate crimes against minority and immigrant communities.”

The killing of Jabara happened about a day before an imam and his associate were fatally shot to death in Queens, New York, slayings also under investigation as hate crimes.

Some in the Muslim community are pointing fingers at GOP presidential contender Donald Trump after these incidents, accusing him of fomenting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hatred on the campaign trail.

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About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

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