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Queer Activist Escapes Murder Attempt
by salem
Monday Mar 19th, 2001 10:40 AM
muslim queer activist escapes murder attempt
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

PRESS RELEASE

Media Contact:

Faisal Alam
Founder & Director - Al-Fatiha Foundation
Telephone: 202-223-1353
Email: mfaisalalam [at] yahoo.com


Monday, March 19, 2001 - The Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTQ Muslims &
Friends learned today that a prominent member of the LGBTQ Muslim community
was physically assaulted in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Ifti Nasim, a prominent
writer, poet, and activist in the South Asian community of Chicago was
verbally and physically attacked while he dined at a South Asian restaurant
on the night of Monday, March 12, 2001.

The attacker calling for a "Jihad" or "Holy War" while wielding a knife
against Nasim, claiming to be doing the will of Allah (God). Two patrons at
the restaurant intervened and stopped the attacker. Nasim suffered no
physical injuries in what could have been a fatal assault, but is still very
shaken by the incident. "I am grateful to Allah (God) for all that I have
been given," said Nasim. "But it is amazing that a member of my own
community would think of doing this to me," Nasim continued, in reference to
the attacker who is also of South Asian.

When a police officer arrived on the scene he questioned Nasim, but refused
to arrest the suspect saying that it was an "ethnic problem." Due to the
presence of a lesbian officer who later arrived on the scene, the attacker
was arrested and charged with assault.

The Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTQ Muslims and friends condemend the attack
on Ifti Nasim, today, calling the acts of the suspect a shame to what Islam
represents and stands for. "This is just another example of what our
community continues to face on a daily basis," said Faisal Alam, Founder &
Director of the Al-Fatiha Foundation. "Ifti is a prominent & visible member
of the community. Thus the attack was so public. But LGBTQ Muslims around
the world continue to attacks on all levels: physical, emotional, mental,
and spiritualy - not only from members of their family, community and
society, but in some cases their government as well"

The attack has shaken the entire Chicago LGBT community. But what is even
more alarming is that the police officer in question refused to arrest the
attacker. "This only shows a lack of understanding on the part of the
police in Chicago on the various complexities of being not only a racial
minority but also a religious minority in this country," said Faisal Alam.
According to the Al-Fatiha Foundation there are more than 6 million Muslims
in the United States. Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion in
the world and will become the second largest religion in the United States
in a few years. Muslims comes from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. The
majority of Muslims in the United States are African American, Arab, and
South Asian.

The Al-Fatiha Foundation calls on the LGBTQ community in the United States
to call States Attorney Dick Devine at 312.603.5440 and demand that hate
crime charges be filed against the assailant, Salmon Aftab. The assault was
not only because of Ifti's sexual orientation but also his ethnic background
as well.



Ifti Nasim can be reached via email for interviews at IftiNasim [at] aol.com

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