An Islamophobe from Oak Forest, Illinois, has been charged with leaving threatening messages for an official at the Chicago chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Marvin Meyer, 45, faces one felony count of committing a hate crime and one misdemeanor count of telephone harassment after he allegedly left death threats on CAIR-Chicago’s Deputy Director and Counsel Sufyan Sohel’s personal phone line.
Sohel found the voicemail in mid-May when he arrived at his downtown office. The racist rant began with, “Hey, this is America calling.”
“You are not welcome here. Take your f***ing s*** back to Syria. We will kill you. F*** Democrats. We will kill you. You are not welcome here. Get out. Take your f***ing Muslim law... Jesus Christ is the only God there is,” the voicemail continued.
Meyer then brazenly left his phone number stating, “Do I seem afraid to you?”
Sohel claimed the officials of CAIR are not strangers to threats and racist rants. However, this particular incident was more extreme than the others.
“We get frequent mail, faxes, emails, phone calls, but not to this extreme,” the deputy director said of the death threat.
“We get a lot of ‘You’re not welcome here, get back home. Some of it’s understandable, but especially when it’s targeted at a civil rights organization, it is kind of a little bit ironic,” Sohel added. “Then someone calls us and tells us to go home and I laugh because I am home. It perpetuates that feeling of otherness or not being welcome.”
After hearing the verbal assault, Sohel was forced to call the FBI and Chicago Police.
Meyer was held on $75,000 bail Saturday, according to Cook County sheriff’s records, and is scheduled for court on Thursday.
Sohel praised the police for their quick action.
“We’re so happy, especially these days when you hear of mistrust between police and communities,” he said. “We’re thankful that they were very thorough in their investigation, and that the state’s attorney’s office charged it as a hate crime. We hope it holds up in the legal system. More than anything, it motivates me to keep on doing what I’m doing.”