AABA Chicago, CABA Chicago, FALA Chicago, KABA Chicago and SABA Chicago Support Local Civil Rights Leader and Organization, Recent Victims of a Hate Crime

CHICAGO – A coalition of Asian American bar associations support Sufyan Sohel (Sohel), Deputy Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Chicago (CAIR Chicago), and CAIR-Chicago, recent victims of a hate crime.

On May 16, 2017, Sohel, received the threatening voicemail on his office phone, from Marvin Meyer (Meyer). Meyer stated, “Hey. Guess what? This is America calling. You are not welcome here…We will kill you.” His message also insulted Allah and Democrats, and Meyers also asked, “Do I seem afraid of you?” This is one of four calls left at CAIR-Chicago that morning, all with a similar message.

Meyer admitted to calling Deputy Director Sohel. He has been charged with a felony count of a hate crime and a misdemeanor count of a telephone threat.

Sohel, past president of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago, is an American-born attorney whose parents came to this country from India. As Deputy Director at CAIR Chicago, Sohel oversees the organization’s legal strategy and is a frequent speaker on social justice and civil rights issues.  CAIR-Chicago is a non-profit organization that defends the civil rights or Muslim Americans through outreach, advocacy and litigation.

AABA Chicago, CABA Chicago, FALA Chicago, KABA Chicago and SABA Chicago (the Chicago Asian-American Bar Associations) condemn not only the actions of Meyer, but the rising hate witnessed around the globe against Muslim, South Asian, and other minority populations The Chicago Asian-American Bar Associations praise the Cook County State’s Attorney Office and the Chicago Police Department for fully investigating the specific allegations raised by the voicemail and taking appropriate action to ensure that all residents, regardless of gender, race, and national origin, feel welcome and safe in the City of Chicago.

The Chicago Asian-American Bar Associations urge association and community members to help stem the rise of hate crimes by reporting incidents and seeking assistance immediately. Please visit the respective bar associations websites for additional information regarding hate crimes.

The Chicago Asian American Bar Associations include the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago and the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago.