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A PRAYER VIGIL: LIGHT A CANDLE
For the children of Peshawar, Pakistan
Parking lot of the Islamic Center of Johnson County (ICJC)
9001 W 151st Street, Overland Park, KS 66221.
December 19, Friday. 6PM-7PM.

This is a youth organized event. All ages are welcome.
You may bring a candle. 

[Caution: Please be careful with the lit candle. Supervise young children. Burn to the hand or damage to the property are common.]



 

Shawnee Mission Islamic Education Center (SMIEC)
Shawnee, Kansas, December 17, 2014 
Contact: Prof. Syed Eqbal Hasan  msncondo@gmail.com 

Condemnation of the massacre of school children in Pakistan.

The Shawnee Mission Islamic Education Center (SMIEC) expresses its deep sorrow and condemns the senseless act that took over 130 innocent lives, most of them young children attending school in Peshawar, Pakistan. The perpetrators of such act are abusing Islam because all adherent of this faith know that killing innocent people is prohibited and is considered a major sin.

This horrific act turns out to be a heartbreaking tragedy when one realizes that Islam encourages education, and seeking knowledge is considered a form of worship. Prophet Mohammad urged his followers to seek knowledge and prayed to God “Oh my Lord, increase me in my knowledge.” [The Qur’an, 20:114]. SMIEC, an organization dedicated to education, is deeply saddened to learn that the young children who left their homes to study and acquire knowledge never returned home to their parents. The misguided individuals need to understand that their cowardly act can never extinguish the eternal flame that glows in the heart of every seeker of knowledge, particularly innocent children.
 

Syed Eqbal Hasan, Ph.D.-a board member of SMIEC said that he appreciates President Obama's statement:"Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and loved ones," adding "By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity. We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region."


 
 
2014 December 5 
Another Hate Crime in Kansas City? 
Friday the FBI said it is investigating a fatal attack Thursday on a 15-year old Muslim as a hate crime.  This follows the murder of three persons April 13 at two Jewish sites. Has Kansas City has moved backward from the days it was lauded as an interfaith model? 

A PRAYER and NEWS REPORTS below
 
 

Spirit of Life,

You are a God of Compassion and Justice.

When acts of apparent hatred explode into our world

We are filled with anger and a desire for vengeance.

Accept us with our feelings and heal our world and us.

Allow us to see your compassion in the passion of our world.

Invite us to experience your justice.

Use our minds and our bodies to nurture a response of love.

Heal the hearts of those who act out of hate.

Heal the minds of those who seek revenge.

Give us all a renewed vision of a beloved community.

Let your compassion and your justice rain upon us again,

Spirit of Life.



 
 
 
 

Thanks to David E Nelson for this fresh prayer


Below are news accounts and announcements. We offer our heart-felt thoughts and prayers. We are concerned especially for those at the boy's mosque and his immediate community, and all our Muslim friends, and all who face discrimination because of their faith, race, or other perceived difference. We pray that all Kansas Citians may come to appreciate and enjoy our diversity.


The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council is shocked and saddened by the recent attack at the Somali Center of Kansas City, which resulted in the death of 15-year-old Abdisamad “Adam” Sheikh Hussain. We applaud the quick response of law enforcement units, which are investigating this incident as a possible hate crime. There is evidence that the community had been dealing with anti-Muslim statements and threats prior to this incident.

The Interfaith Council continues to promote understanding of all religions and continues to offer multi-faith education, which is key to a civilized society. We implore people in the Kansas City community to learn about different religions and cultures in order to prevent discrimination and violence.

Our sympathies go out to the victim’s family, to the Somali Center, and all people who care about humanity.


CAIR to Join Community Memorial Service for Kansas City Muslim Teen Murdered in Hate Attack

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/6/14) – On Sunday, December 7, representatives of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas) will join other community and interfaith leaders at a memorial service in Kansas City, Mo., for Abdisamad "Adam" Sheikh-Hussein, the 15-year-old boy who was murdered Thursday in an apparent anti-Muslim hate attack.

WHEN: Sunday, December 7, 1:30 p.m. (Central)
WHERE: Masjid At-Taqwa, 1340 Admiral Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64106
CONTACT: CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, melbayoumy@gmail.com

"This memorial service is designed to show solidarity with the family and loved ones of Abdisamad 'Adam' Sheikh-Hussein and to prove that hope and peace will always prevail over hate and evil," said CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy.

The teenager died Thursday night after his legs were severed when he was intentionally hit by an SUV outside the Somali Center of Kansas City.

SEE: Killing of Somali Teen is Horrifying Whatever the Motive

Friends and family members of the slain teen will take part in the memorial, along with representatives of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, the former Kansas City mayor pro tem and a representative of a coalition of local Muslim organizations,

Speakers at the service will include representatives of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, the former Kansas City mayor pro tem and a representative of a coalition of local Muslim organizations,

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

- END –

CONTACT: CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, melbayoumy@gmail.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com
 



2014 Dec 07 The Kansas City Star.
 

2014 Dec 07 The Kansas City Star.

Hundreds mourn teen killed in street
Leader says violent death of boy in front of mosque has drawn the Muslim community closer.
By MARK MORRIS The Kansas City Star

   Shoulder to shoulder, hundreds of friends and family members packed a south Kansas City gym to pray for the soul of Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein in paradise.
   Abdisamad, also known as Adam to his friends at Staley High School, died Thursday after he was run down in the street in front of his mosque at the Somali Center of Kansas City, 1340 Admiral Blvd.
   Jackson County prosecutors have charged Ahmed H. Aden, a 34-year-old Kansas City truck driver, with first-degree murder in his death.
   Aden, said to be a Somali Christian, also is the target of a federal civil rights investigation. The FBI is studying whether Aden’s alleged killing of Abdisamad, 15, was fueled by hatred of Islam and its adherents.
   As worshipers filed into the Islamic Center of Greater Kansas City gym, Abdisamad’s body, wrapped in a white shroud, was moved in front of the crowd, standing in rows, men and boys in front, women and girls to the back.
   Mustafa Hussein, the service manager for the center, said funeral prayers are open to anyone who feels drawn to attend. But this was one of the largest such events in recent memory, he said.
   The Kansas City Somali community is very close, he said, and Abdisamad’s death has drawn the entire Muslim community together.    “It’s a devastating thing for a 15-year-old to die this way,” Hussein said. “The way this happened has attracted more people to come.”
   Abdullahi Mohamud, the boy’s father, who teaches at the Somali Center, stepped to the microphone to lead the crowd in the four-part funeral, or Janaza, prayer, most of which is said silently by each in attendance.
   The first two parts praise God and ask for blessings on the Prophet Muhammad, on Abraham and on their descendents.
   The litany was unfamiliar to Nick Roche, one of Abdisamad’s sophomore classmates at Staley. He attended to honor the memory of a good friend who broke down barriers.
   “He didn’t care about your religion; he cared about you,” Nick said. “If you’re ever having a bad day, think about the bright side, like he did.”
   The last two sections of the funeral prayer are calls for forgiveness, for the community and for those who have died.
   “Purify him from his sins as a white garment is cleansed from dirt,” it reads in part.
   Afterward, Aasim Baheyadeen suggested that the call for forgiveness could extend even to Aden, who members of the Somali community have said struggled with his own demons, as well as a hatred for Islam.
   “There are people in this world with ills, and you have to find hope for them,” Baheyadeen said.
   To reach Mark Morris, call
   816-234-4310 or send email to mmorris@kcstar.com



2014 Dec 06 The Kansas City Star.

KC Star Editorial

Somali boy killed outside of mosque
A horrifying act of violence

   Whatever the motivation, the killing of a 15-year-old Somali boy outside a mosque in northeast Kansas City Thursday is appalling.
   Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, a sophomore at Staley High School in the North Kansas City School District, was struck by an SUV as he was getting into a car that was parked curbside at Admiral Boulevard and Lydia Avenue. The teenager, who also used the names Abdi and Adam, died at a hospital.
   Witnesses said the driver of the SUV intentionally barreled the vehicle into the car being used by the teenager and several other persons. Police got to the scene quickly and apprehended Ahmed
   H. Aden, 34. Prosecutors on Friday charged Aden with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
   The killing is being investigated by both Kansas City police and the FBI, because of suggestions that the driver may have targeted the car outside of a mosque in order to kill Muslims. People in the Somali community said Aden was a Somali-born Christian. The Kansas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a news release saying that the vehicle involved in the boy’s death had been spotted in the past with an anti-Islamic message on a rear window.
   People who were in the area just before and after Abdisamad was run down said a man fitting Aden’s description was brandishing a machete and a handgun. Court documents said Aden talked about unknown people trying to kill him when he was questioned by police.
   Whatever possessed the driver, he took the life of a beloved and promising youth. Abdisamad was described as a resource to the Somali community, helping to care for children, deliver food to the needy and teach English to adults.
   Most Somalis in Kansas City came here as refugees to escape violence in their homeland. It is beyond cruel that an apparent act of senseless violence has claimed one of their children here.



 

Possible hate crime outside a Kansas City mosque kills one teenager.

Media Release:
Contact: Zulfiqar Malik HeartlandMuslimCouncil@gmail.com
         (913) 851-3052

December 5, 2014, 2:00 AM

Kansas City Muslim community is deeply shocked at the hit and run, apparently intentional assault last evening outside a mosque on Admiral Boulevard in Midtown Kansas City. The attack resulted in the death of a teenager and serious injuries to another teenager. Our thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families and friends.

We ask the federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this attack as a possible hate crime.

We commend the Kansas City Police Department for apprehending the suspected killer immediately after the crime. We hope the suspect will be charged and brought to full justice.

In light of the increased attacks on the mosques across the nation, we appeal to the law enforcement departments to provide extra safety and security to the mosques, Islamic schools and Muslim businesses.
 
 



FROM The Kansas City Star 2014 Dec 6

MURDER CHARGE | Small community mourns after SUV runs down boy

MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING SOMALI TEEN AT MOSQUE

Many say driver, who also faces a federal hate crime probe, repeatedly made threats against Muslims.

By MARK MORRIS, ERIC ADLER and TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star

   Before suffering gruesome and fatal injuries Thursday, Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein helped lead the evening Muslim prayers at his mosque near downtown.
   “He asked for mercy for humankind and asked for humans to follow the righteous path,” remembered Ali Abdi, the assistant director of the Somali Center of Kansas City and its mosque.
   But Abdisamad, 15, received no mercy minutes later as he stepped off the curb at 1340 Admiral Blvd. and headed toward a car. A Chevrolet Blazer speeding eastbound sideswiped the car and struck Abdisamad, nearly severing his legs.
   The Staley High School sophomore died later at a hospital.
   The driver of the SUV, Ahmed
   H. Aden, a 34-year-old Kansas City truck driver, told police after his arrest that he had been searching for men who’d threatened him nine days earlier. And he said he planned to kill those men if he found them, according to court records.
   Aden told police that he intentionally struck Abdisamad, but he had mistaken the teen for one of the men who had threatened him, according to the court records.
   Jackson County prosecutors charged Aden with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, leaving the scene of an accident and unlawful use of a weapon.
   Abdisamad’s uncle, Abdinajib Dirir, said the family, who had emigrated from war-torn Somalia, was devastated.
   “There are no words to describe,” he said. “This is a community that fled a violent situation. Now we’re facing violence in the United States. … We are American like everyone else. And this is a tragedy for us.”
   Aden, whom sources described as a Somali Christian, now is the target of both a state murder investigation and a federal hate-crimes probe, authorities said.
   Members of the Somali community said that Aden long was known to have made frequent and violent threats against Muslims and the mosque, occasionally even threatening the mass slaughter of worshipers.
   Abdi said the man had been reported to authorities repeatedly and that Abdisamad even was interviewed by police about threats he had heard Aden make before.
   “He said he will kill a number of people,” Abdi said. “Ultimately, he killed one. Allah did not allow him to kill more.”
   Moussa Elbayoumy, chairman of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said a member of the mosque has a photo of Aden’s SUV, taken about two months ago, showing anti-Muslim graffiti, reading, “Quran is a virus disease (worse) than Ebola.”
   “He made verbal threats to them that he intended to kill several people,” Elbayoumy said.
   Ahmed Abdi, 13, and other boys at the mosque on Friday confirmed they had seen the graffiti scrawled across the SUV as it cruised around the mosque recently.
   “He said bad things about our religion,” Ahmed said. “He came around with his car and had signs saying, ‘Islam is a disease.’ ”
   Also Friday, Kansas City police released a report of a telephone interview of Aden, conducted Oct. 25 by an officer investigating an assault at a Somali market on Independence
   Avenue.
   “The (suspect) stated to me that several people from … Islam (were) going to kill him,” the officer wrote. “I then asked the (suspect) why they want to kill him, and he stated that he was only practicing his freedom of press/expression.”
   No charges were filed in the assault case, police said, because the victim declined to pursue prosecution.
   Court records indicated that Aden previously lived in Dodge City, Kan., and Minnesota.
   He appeared to have a minimal criminal record. He was ticketed by the Missouri Highway Patrol earlier this year for driving a vehicle exceeding the allowable weight. A court in Rice County, Minn., convicted him in 2008 for driving under the influence of alcohol.
   He served a 90-day sentence in the county jail and was on probation for one year.
   In mourning
   “It is heartbreaking, I tell you that,” Mohamed Abdikafi, 34, said standing over the ovens at Jabaland, the Somali grill he owns on Independence Avenue.
   Abdikafi, a Somali who has been in Kansas City for about five years, said he knew both Abdisamad and Aden.
   He said Aden was well-known in the community as a disturbed and angry man.
   “That guy, he had an issue with the whole community,” Abdikafi said.
   Aden, he said, would frequently spout hatred and at times was known to be threatening.
   “You could tell he was looking for trouble,” Abdifaki said of Aden, whom he served beef stew at 10 a.m. on the morning of the killing.
   He said most people in the community tended to wave off Aden’s opinions as hateful, but meaningless, rantings.
   “Nobody took him seriously. Everybody would walk away,” Abdifaki said. Yet now, he added, “I wish we took him seriously.”
   Abdisamad also was well known in the Somali community, but as a kind, happy and decent boy from a good family.
   His father, Adullahi Mohamud, is the assistant to the imam at the mosque and also teaches there. He and his wife, Hawa, have three other children, a son and two daughters, Abdi said.
   At the mosque on Friday morning, Bashir Alew, 42, a Somali who is a pharmacist now living in Lee’s Summit, broke into tears as he talked about the death. Alew has four children.
   “This is where my children come on the weekend,” he said of the mosque. They attended weekend religious school there on Saturdays and Sundays.
   Alew said his 13-year-old used to play basketball with Abdisamad, whom Alew had known for 10 years.
   Abdi said Abdisamad spent most of his weekends at the mosque, arriving at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and leaving about 8 p.m. He would distribute food to the needy and help Somali community members with their English.
   Abdisamad also looked out for the drunken homeless men who occasionally staggered by the mosque. Abdi remembered that recently Abdisamad helped one such man to his feet after he’d fallen.
   Abdi remembered teasing the boy, telling him not to bother unless he also had a home for the man.
   “I said, ‘Leave him alone,’ ” Abdi recalled.
   “But he needs help,” Abdisamad replied.
   Abdi paused to compose himself.
   “He was one of the best boys at the center,” he said.
   Friday prayers
   Later Friday afternoon, more than 200 men, women and children packed the Somali Center mosque for Friday prayers. Afterward, many gathered around the boy’s family to offer comfort.
   A group of teenage boys stood in a group across the room, some almost in a daze, trying to figure out how to cope with the loss of their friend.
   Mohamed Ahmed, 13, said on Thursday, Abdisamad “was leading our prayer, and then after that, he just went outside. He was going to the gym to meet his friends and play basketball. And then, he got hit.”
   Ahmed Abdurahan, 15, described his friend as “a nice guy, very easy to talk to.”
   “He was like a regular kid,” he said. “He was smart in school, and he knew about the religion. It’s really shocking to see him gone now.”
   He said he had just seen his friend at the prayer service on Thursday afternoon.
   “It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I still can’t believe he’s gone. My mind can’t wrap around it.”
   Ahmed Mohamed, a close friend of the boy’s family, described him as “that friend you could go to and talk to.”
   “Everybody in this community knew him,” he said. “There was no person that he would exempt, nobody who didn’t like him. He was the kind of person who everybody loved.”
   Alew and others dismissed the notion that Abdisamad’s death was an outgrowth of some sort of larger religious differences between Somalis who are Muslim and those who are Christian.
   “It is a small community,” he said of Somalis in the Kansas City area.
   The most recent U.S. census puts the number at just short of 600 inside the Kansas City limits, but it does not include the outlying suburbs.
   Alew said that on any given Saturday or Sunday, some 600 to 700 Somalis will flow in and out of the mosque. Christian and Muslim Somalis, he said, get along well in Kansas City.
   “I don’t think this is a Christian, Muslim issue,” he said. “I think this is a mental issue.”
   Abdirizak Mohamed, 34, who came to Kansas City from Somalia about 12 years ago, said the same.
   “Everybody gets along here,” he said. “Everyone’s at peace.”
   The Star’s Judy L. Thomas,
   Matt Campbell and Robert A.
   Cronkleton contributed to this report.

KEITH MYERS | THE KANSAS CITY STAR
   Worshippers gathered around Abdullahi Mohamud (center), father of 15-year-old Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, after prayers Friday at the Somali Center of Kansas City. Many described Abdisamad as a happy, helpful person who will be missed greatly.

Abdisamad

ROBERT A. CRONKLETON | THE STAR
   Hundreds gather at the Somali Center of Kansas City each weekend.

Aden



FROM The Kansas City Star

Updated: FBI investigating possible hate crime in fatal hit-and-run of Muslim boy in KC

BY MATT CAMPBELLTHE KANSAS CITY STAR
12/04/2014 7:53 PM  12/05/2014 9:29 AM

The Somali Center of Kansas City at Admiral Boulevard and Lydia Avenue

ROBERT A. CRONKLETON THE STAR

The FBI announced Friday it was investigating the fatal, and apparently intential, hit-and-run incident that killed a 15-year-old Muslim Somali boy as a potential hate crime..

The boy was killed early Thursday evening as he was leaving the Somali Center of Kansas City at Admiral Boulevard and Lydia Avenue.

“We’re working jointly with the Kansas City Police Department,” said FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton, “but we have opened this as a civil rights investigation into a potential hate crimes violation.”

A Kansas City Muslim group and a Kansas group with ties to a national organization called Friday for such a federal probe following the boys death in what witnesses told police appeared to be a deliberate attempt to strike the teenager with an SUV about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

The victim’s legs were nearly severed in the incident Thursday and he was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where he died, a dispatcher confirmed.

The Kansas City Muslim Community is “deeply shocked,”according to a press release from Zulfiqar Malik, a board member with the Heartland Muslim Council.

“We ask federal law enforcement to investigate this attack as a possible hate crime,” Malik said in the release.

In another release, the Kansas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations cited Somali Center officials as saying a man had been threatening Muslims in Kansas City for months. It also said the vehicle involved in the boy’s death was seen months before bearing anti-Islamic message written on a rear window in broken English.

“We urge federal authorities to get involved in this case in order to send the message that our nation’s leaders will not allow American Muslims to be targeted because of their faith,” CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy said in a news release on Friday.

The victim and another person were getting into a parked car when the driver of a Chevrolet SUV, eastbound on Admiral, sideswiped them. Witnesses said the vehicle crossed the center line and appeared to target the pedestrians on the north side of the street.

“This was intentional,” said police Sgt. Bill Mahoney.

The victim was thrown by the impact.

The SUV was disabled by the crash. The driver, described as in his mid-30s, was alone in the vehicle. He fled on foot but was quickly arrested. Police said he had a machete and other weapons.

The Heartland Muslim Council commended police for arresting the suspect so quickly.

“We hope the suspect will be charged and brought to full justice,” the press release said.

Police on Thursday declined to speculate on a motive and were interviewing witnesses. The incident is being investigated by the assault squad, Mahoney said.

Mark Morris, Tony Rizzo and Robert A. Cronkleton contributed to this report.

To reach Matt Campbell call 816-234-4902 or send email to mcampbell@kcstar.com
 


‘Every Jew in the world knows my name now’
For the first time, F. Glenn Miller Jr. talks about the April 13 killings. Experts say paying attention to hate will prevent future tragedies.
By JUDY L. THOMAS The Kansas City Star
   The avowed white supremacist charged with killing three people at Jewish sites in Overland Park said he decided to carry out the attacks after becoming so sick with emphysema that he thought he was about to die.
   F. Glenn Miller Jr., who faces a capital murder charge, told The Kansas City Star he went to the emergency room in late March, unable to breathe.
   “I was convinced I was dying then,” said Miller, of Aurora, Mo., in his first published interview since the April 13 shooting rampage. “… I wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”
   But Jewish leaders and those who monitor extremist groups said Miller’s actions only served to bring the community together in a show of support for all races and religions. And Leonard Zeskind, president of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, said the public must pay more attention to those who promote racist and violent views to understand what motivates them and to prevent future tragedies.
   Miller — who also goes by the name Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. — is accused of killing physician William Corporon, 69, and his grandson Reat Underwood, 14, at the Jewish Community Center and Terri LaManno, 53, an occupational therapist who was visiting her mother at the nearby Village Shalom care center. None of the victims was Jewish.
   Members of both families said Friday that they did not want to comment for this story. Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe and Miller’s lawyer, Ron Evans, said they were precluded from commenting because of a judicial gag order.
   Miller, 73, spoke to The Star in a series of phone calls last week from the New Century Adult Detention Center. He originally said he would not speak on the record unless The Star agreed to send a copy of the recorded interview to a longtime friend of his. The Star refused, and Miller eventually consented to an interview without any conditions.
   Speaking in a Southern drawl, Miller talked of conducting reconnaissance missions to the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in the days before the shootings. He said he went to the two sites “for the specific purpose of killing Jews.” He said he thought his actions had an impact.
   “Because of what I did, Jews feel less secure,” he said. “Every Jew in the world knows my name now and what I did. As for these … white people who are accomplices of the Jews, who attend their meetings and contribute to their fundraising efforts and who empower the Jews, they are my enemy too. A lot of white people who associate with Jews, go to Jewish events and support them know that they’re not safe either, thanks to me.”
   He said he had one regret.
   “The young white boy,” he said. “I regret that.”
   But when asked if there was something he wanted to say to Reat’s family, Miller said, “Not now.”
   Those who track the white nationalist movement said that although the despicable actions and disgusting language can numb the soul, people need to learn more about extremists like Miller to stop future attacks.
   “White supremacists remain a dangerous and violent part of our society,” Zeskind said. “We have to talk to them and understand their motivation.
   “Learning about them is our responsibility so that we may be better equipped to tackle this ongoing problem. Ignoring it, quarantining it, shutting our eyes, closing our ears, hasn’t stopped any Nazi killers. Opening our eyes, joining with others, taking public stands against racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry of the type displayed by Glenn Miller for decades is the best guarantee of building a truly open, democratic society.”
   Mark Levin, founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, said the shootings had the opposite effect of what Miller was seeking.
   “The fact that he brought tragedy to a number of lives brought our community together,” Levin said. “… In my experience, never has the general community reacted to any minority group the way the Jewish community was the recipient of overwhelming affection and understanding.
   “When the community had the memorial, everyone came, across the board. What happened here, and I hope it’s a harbinger of things to come, is that the bullets in an unlikely place
   — suburbia — made everyone aware that we’re all vulnerable to hateful violence regardless of ethnicity, regardless of religious affiliation.”
   Miller has a decades-long history of spewing racism. In 1980, he founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, leading hundreds of followers in marches against civil rights throughout the Carolinas. When the organization was shut down for conducting illegal paramilitary operations, he formed the White Patriot Party. In 1987, he went underground after mailing a “Declaration of War” to supporters, authorities and news organizations that established a point system for the assassination of federal officials, blacks, Jews, gays and others.
   Miller and several comrades were soon arrested in a trailer in Ozark, Mo., where authorities found a large cache of weapons and explosives. Miller cut a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to testify against other white supremacists in a federal sedition trial in 1988, leading some in the movement to label him a “race traitor.” In return for his testimony, he received a five-year prison sentence.
   He was released in 1990 after serving three years. He entered the federal witness protection program and moved to Iowa, where he became an over-the-road trucker. He moved to southern Missouri in the mid-1990s.
   In his interviews, Miller said he conducted Internet searches of Jewish centers in the Kansas City area but was convinced that authorities were monitoring his computer and phone, “so I was always careful.”
   “I even Googled Islamic community centers, Hispanic community centers, Baptist community centers, just to throw them off,” he said. “I didn’t drive my truck because I was convinced it was being monitored by satellite by the cops. That’s the reason I took my wife’s car.”
   Miller said he drove to the Jewish Community Center numerous times in the week leading up to the shootings.
   “I drove all the way from my home in Missouri, back and forth, back and forth,” he said. “I reconnoitered the damned place.”
   Miller said he first went to the center about six days before the shootings. He was unarmed, he said, and wanted to see whether anyone would try to stop him.
   “And nothing happened,” he said. “I parked right in front of it and drove around. If the feds had been monitoring me, they’d have stopped me right then because they were afraid I was going to kill somebody.”
   He said he never went inside the center — not only because his emphysema made it difficult to walk very far, but also because he was afraid.
   “I was terrified of getting caught with these weapons,” he said. “If I got caught with those weapons, I’d be finished. I’d spend the rest of my damned life in prison and not having done anything.”
   Miller said he’d read online that the community center was sponsoring an “American Idol”-style talent competition on April 13.
   “And according to the flier that I read, it says young Jews from all over will be participating,” he said.
   The day before the shootings, Miller drove to the Kansas City area and got a motel room in Belton. The next morning, he went to Harrah’s North Kansas City casino and won $290 playing blackjack.
   “I think I was there for about an hour,” he said. “When I was walking around, I’d give a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute and I would goosestep. I knew I was going to do it.”
   Miller said he went to the community center three times that day, starting about 10:30 or 11 a.m. After the third visit, he said, he decided to go home because he hadn’t seen enough people “to satisfy my quota,” which he said was “maybe six or eight.”
   He left and drove south on Nall Avenue to 135th Street, then headed east. But then he turned around.
   “I pulled over and I thought, ‘Here I am going home. I might die, and I will have not fulfilled my mission.’ My conscience would not allow me to do that.”
   He arrived back at the Jewish Community Center around 1 p.m. He said he had a pistol in the front seat and two shotguns and a.30-caliber carbine in the trunk.
   “I seen the two guys getting out of a vehicle …,” he said. “Right above then, there were two young guys walking towards their vehicle and towards my direction.
   “… I just parked right in the middle of the drive there, and I got out where the guys in the vehicle were. I was probably no more than eight feet from that doctor. I got out and got in my trunk and started shooting. … He showed no fear at all.”
   One of the other men in the parking lot disappeared, he said.
   “The other guy speeded up,” he said. “I shot at him but missed him.
   “I thought it was a strong possibility I’d be killed, so I wanted to kill as many as I possibly could before I got killed myself. I was thoroughly convinced the place was going to be loaded with guards. Armed guards.”
   As he drove away from the center, he said, “I have never felt such exhilaration. … Finally, I’d done something.”
   He said he drove slowly to Nall, then turned south, surprised that nobody was coming after him. He immediately drove to Village Shalom, where he encountered LaManno in the parking lot.
   “After I shot her, another woman came right behind the woman’s vehicle that I’d just shot. Right behind it, 15 feet from me. … I had the shotgun pointed at her head from about 12 feet. I said, Are you a Jew?’ She said, ‘What?’ By the second time, she knew why I was asking. She screamed, ‘No.’ So I let her live.”
   After that, Miller said, “I drove just a few blocks because I figured there were guards there who were going to shoot me in a second.”
   He said he called 911 right away.
   “It rang about 10 times,” he said, “and there was no answer.”
   He said he opened a fifth of Wild Turkey whiskey he’d bought the night before.
   “I don’t drink,” he said. “I quit at least 10 years ago. I took three or four gulps. And before I took the fourth one, the cops pulled up.”
   Police arrested him in the parking lot of Valley Park Elementary School, 123rd Street and Lamar Avenue. Miller said they brought several witnesses to help identify him as the shooter.
   “They brought them up in a car and then they took me out of the police vehicle and in front of the car where the people could see me. I screamed at them, ‘Heil Hitler. I wish I’d have killed all of you.’ ”
   Miller said he was surprised to learn from a newspaper story the following Saturday that the people he killed were not Jewish.
   “I was convinced there would be all Jews or mostly Jews” at the two centers, he said.
   Several times during the interviews, Miller said he didn’t realize that Reat Underwood was so young.
   “The 14-year-old boy, he looked 20,” he said.
   He said he acted alone and told no one of his plans.
   “I decided to cut loose as a lone wolf and kill them Jews.”
   In May, federal authorities indicted a southern Missouri man for making a “false and fictitious” statement on a form when buying a Remington Model 870 shotgun at a Wal-Mart in Republic, Mo., four days before the shootings. The man claimed to be the actual buyer of the shotgun “when in fact as the defendant then knew, he was not the actual buyer of the firearm,” according to the indictment.
   Miller said the man also bought him the two other long guns at a gun show in Springfield. But Miller said the man wasn’t involved in his plot.
   “I used him,” he said. “He didn’t know anything. He didn’t know I was a convicted felon.”
   Miller said he committed the attacks “for my people.”
   “Not my family,” he said. “I told my family when they were kids, I said, ‘Look, the reason I had you was to grow up and help me fight the Jews.’ ”
   But he said the older his children got, the less inclined they were to be a part of his plan.
   “They wanted to have a good life and to hell with everything else,” he said. “That’s the way you all are, you know. All white people are that way. Self-interest. Satisfy their bellies, pocketbook and genitals. And watch ballgames. That’s all they want.”
   Miller was in a Johnson County courtroom Wednesday for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
   The hearing was postponed after Miller’s attorney asked for a competency evaluation to determine whether Miller is able to assist with his defense.
   Miller told The Star that he wants to act as his own attorney in court.
   “My case is that what I did was justifiable,” he said. “According to the Declaration of Independence, it says that when a government conspires to destroy a people, it is not only the duty of the people, it is their right to rebel and replace that government.”
   Miller said Johnson County prosecutor Steve Howe is using the case for political gain, wanting “to get as much mileage out of me as he possibly can.”
   He said he doesn’t want to delay the trial because of his declining health.
   “I smoked for 54 years,” he said. “I quit almost five years ago, but I waited too late to quit.” He said he’d “already had several near-death experiences.”
   “I just want to live long enough to have my day in court. But trouble is, the DA is going to stretch the damned thing out so long I won’t live long enough.”
   Zeskind, author of “Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream,” has been keeping track of Miller and his organizations for decades.
   “What motivated this guy is a set of horrible ideas that have remained in our society since the end of slavery and the close of the war against the Nazis in World War II,” he said. “It has stuck with us, and we have not succeeded in building a perfect wall against this form of bigotry.
   “That’s why we have to talk to and understand the motivation of these white supremacists. And we have to understand them in their own words so that we as informed citizens can draw the appropriate conclusions.”
   Levin said Miller’s actions showed how hate can consume a person.
   “And the only way a person can think who is engorged by that much hatred is to say that I’ve won and my hateful attitudes are going to now be disseminated to populations,” he said. “No. He’s lived his life as a failure and will die a failure.”

.

 
 
 
 
 





 
 

The Ellzey Affair: Statements, News Reports, Comment

INTERFAITH COUNCIL 
DEPLORES ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT

Contacts: Sheila Sonnenschein, Convener 
Rev. Mary McCoy, Co-Convener 
P. O. Box 2117
Mission, KS 66202
Kcinterfaith.org
913-548-2973
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2014

INTERFAITH COUNCIL 
DEPLORES ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT

It has come to the attention of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council that an official of the Kansas Republican 3rd Congressional District Committee recently issued a highly-prejudicial and inflammatory anti-Muslim statement on Twitter.  As shocking as the “tweet” itself, the Kansas Republican Party has disavowed any responsibility for “public statements of private citizens” and has refused to issue an apology for the since-deleted “tweet” or to remove the official from his post, although the official himself has since resigned.

In these days of shootings and tension, both locally and internationally, there is no excuse for such irresponsible language and incitement, in particular from officials of civic and political organizations.Interfaith dialogue is important, for the purpose of learning and healing, but no “conversation”or communication against any religion is acceptable, as its only purpose is to spread hatred and misunderstanding.

The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council deplores bigotry in all forms and calls on all citizens to always keep in mind how thoughtless language can lead to reckless behavior and to act with compassion in all communications and endeavors.


CPS Calls On GOP 
To Repudiate Incendiary Comments 
Of Republican Party Official Gavin Ellzey 

(Overland Park, KS. 8/5/14) -- The Crescent Peace Society (CPS) today called on Congressman Kevin Yoder and also requests that the Republican Party of Kansas repudiate remarks by one of its officials inciting violence towards Muslims. 

Gavin Ellzey, the Kansas Republican Party 3rd District Vice-Chair recently tweeted: “Offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person. Especially with a .45.”

CPS called on Congressman Yoder and the party to denounce the incendiary anti-Muslim comments and asked for an apology. "Anti-Muslim bigotry should have no place in the Republican Party and those expressing such intolerant views should be held accountable," said Ahsan Latif, President of CPS. 

“Especially in light of the recent shootings in this very community at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, targeting our Jewish brothers and sisters, it is outrageous and harmful for a leader within the Republican party to make comments condoning and encouraging the use of violence against a religious minority,” Latif said. 

There are several mosques operating in Johnson County with large, peaceful congregations.  A week ago, on July 28, 2014, thousands of Muslims attended Eid prayers at the Overland Park Convention Center celebrating the end of Ramadan. 

“There are many opportunities for Mr. Ellzey to meet with members of the Muslim community in Johnson County and see for himself that the citizenry of this area includes a vibrant Muslim community who are happy, productive and respected Americans,” said Latif.  “On August 16, 2014, CPS will be holding its 18th Annual Eid Celebration and Awards Banquet at the Overland Park Marriott at 6 PM.  We would be happy to have Mr. Ellzey, but we would request he leave his .45 at home.” 

The Crescent Peace Society is a Kansas City area interfaith organization seeking to enhance the understanding of Muslim cultures through educational and cultural activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences among the people of diverse cultures.  Its mission is to build bridges among faith communities, encourage dialogue, and promote justice and mutual understanding. More information about the Crescent Peace Society can be found at www.crescentpeace.org. 
 

CONTACT: Crescent Peace Society President Ahsan Latif, 913-485-9218, latif.ahsan@gmail.com; Board Member Mahnaz Shabbir, 816-213-2536. 


The Kansas City Star.

08/07/2014 10:59 PM
Local Kansas GOP official:
‘Offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person. 
Especially with a .45.’

http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article1160420.html#storylink=cpy

Gavin Ellzey, the vice chairman of the Kansas Republican 3rd Congressional District Committee, advised on Twitter in early July that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person.”

Ellzey added, “Especially with a .45.”

In an interview with The Star, the Overland Park resident acknowledged writing the tweet in response to television news reports about Christians being “crucified” overseas.

“Sometimes you overreact,” Ellzey said.

“I’ve had folks call me,” he added. “I’m not trying to offend anybody. I sure wouldn’t shoot anybody. I don’t even own a gun.”

He said he later deleted the tweet.

Mahnaz Shabbir of the Crescent Peace Society said she was shocked when she saw the tweet.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work in the community to try to help others understand who we are,” she said. “When something like this comes across my computer, my first reaction is like, are you kidding me?”

She pointed out the tweet came just months after the shootings at the Jewish Community Center.

Shabbir said that Ellzey should be removed from his minor party office and that the Kansas GOP should apologize.

Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said the state party has “no responsibility for or connection to the public statements of private citizens who perform volunteer work for the party.”

He added that the “party in no way shares Ellzey’s sentiments on Muslims.”

Barker said new party officers would be selected in about two months in the wake of Tuesday night’s primary.

Told that the words were explosive, Ellzey said, “You’re right,” and said at another point, “I’m not trying to give offense to anybody.”

To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send email to skraske@kcstar.com.



The Kansas City Star.  LEWIS DIUGUID  opinion\
08/07/2014 5:05 PM
Kansas GOP official should resign 
following racist tweet against Muslims
















There is no excuse for the offensive and racist tweet from Gavin Ellzey against Muslims.

Ellzey is the vice chairman of the Kansas Republican 3rd Congressional District Committee. He said on Twitter in early July that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person” — adding, “Especially with a .45,” The Kansas City Star reported.

That was a reference to a .45-caliber firearm. Ellzey of Overland Park admitted to writing the tweet, saying it was in response to TV news reports of attacks on Christians. “Sometimes you overreact,” Ellzey told The Star.

Mahnaz Shabbir, a Kansas City area Muslim advocate with the Crescent Peace Society, was right to criticize Ellzey for his horrific tweets. But she didn’t go far enough.

The Republican Party can hardly afford to have anyone in a leadership position spewing that kind of hatred. Ellzey did the right thing and resigned Wednesday night, but he should also publicly apologize.

His kind of intolerance must never be tolerated.
 



The Kansas City Star.   08/07/2014 10:59 PM

Local GOP official Gavin Ellzey 
resigns over Muslim comments

Gavin Ellzey, vice chairman of the Kansas GOP’s 3rd District Congressional Committee, resigned Wednesday night just hours after his tweet encouraging the offending of Muslims became the focus of news stories.

In a brief email to Clay Barker, the Kansas GOP’s executive director, and 3rd District chairwoman Vicki Sciolaro, Ellzey said he was stepping down immediately.

“I feel that is the best for the GOP,” Ellzey wrote.

He sent the message at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, about four hours after The Star posted a story about Ellzey’s comments on Muslims.

Local Kansas GOP official: ‘Offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person. Especially with a .45.’
In a tweet in early July, Ellzey wrote that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person,” and added, “especially with a .45.”

In an interview, the Overland Park resident said he had overreacted to news reports about Christians being “crucified” overseas. He said he had no intention of shooting anyone and did not own a gun.

To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send email to skraske@kcstar.com.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article1166472.html#storylink=cpy


Two More Ellzey FB Posts

Turn Iran into a sheet of radioactive glass. And if the Muslims don't like it, do the same to Mecca.
February 23, 2012 at 10:31pm 

Palestine = parking lot for Israeli jets. Time to make that happen .
March 12, 2012 at 5:15pm ?


Vern's Comments

A Gavin Ellzey is listed as a member of the Society of Fellows at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. If this is the same person, the two Islamic Art exhibits this year apparently have been ineffective in this case.

Since he also has been identified with a specifically Jewish group of Republicans, one wishes the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/ American Jewish Committee would also disavow Ellzey's tweets, and one wishes Congressman Kevin Yoder, whose office simply told me they have no responsibility for the 3d District GOP official's comments, would reassure his commitment to the safety of all his constituents.

Finally, one wishes that Gavin Ellzey would become acquainted with some of the many wonderful Muslims in the Kansas City area who serve the community in many ways as outstanding citizens.