For Immediate Release
June 22, 2017
For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications
CHICAGO — A coalition of
Chicago-area and national Asian Pacific American bar associations expressed
their support for Sufyan Sohel, deputy director of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations Chicago (CAIR-Chicago), and CAIR-Chicago, victims of
a series of threating
calls recently charged as a hate crime.
On May 16, 2017, Sohel received a
threatening voicemail on his office phone from Marvin Meyer stating, “Hey.
Guess what? This is America calling. You are not welcome here… We will kill
you.” His message insulted Allah and Democrats, and Meyer also asked, “Do I
seem afraid of you?” This was one of four calls left at CAIR-Chicago that
morning, all with a similar message.
Meyer admitted to calling Sohel and
he has been charged with a felony count of a hate crime and a misdemeanor count
of a telephone threat.
The Chicago-area bar associations
(the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago, the Chinese American Bar
Association of Chicago, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago,
the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago, the South Asian Bar Association
of Chicago) and the national bar associations (the National Asian Pacific
America Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association North America)
condemn the threatening calls and the rising level of hate witnessed around the
globe against Muslim, South Asian and other minority communities. The bar
associations praise the Cook County State’s Attorney Office and the Chicago
Police Department for investigating the specific allegations raised by the
voicemails and taking action to ensure that all residents, regardless of
gender, race and national origin, feel welcome and safe in the City of Chicago.
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
The bar associations urge attorneys,
other legal associations 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.
For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster,
NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or [email protected].
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national
association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and
law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and
more than 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar
associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers,
corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving
at all levels of government.
NAPABA continues to be a leader in
addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities.
Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a
strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries,
advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate
crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development
of people of color in the legal profession.