Declare Vandalism of Shop with Racial Slurs a Hate Crime

Target: Sharon Wehrly, Sheriff of Nye County Police Department

Goal: Classify recent attack on Muslim business owner’s shop as a hate crime so that it will qualify for FBI investigation.

Yet another hateful, ignorance-fueled attack has been launched against an innocent Muslim-American citizen. Shopkeeper Vic Ahmed was “startled” and “disappointed” when he discovered that his place of business had been defaced by hateful, Islamophobic slurs. Insults such as “towel head” and “sand n***er” were spray painted on Ahmed’s car repair shop.

In an interview, Ahmed stated that he had previously been told to “go back to [his] effin’ third world country,” indicating that this is certainly not the first time he has been targeted because of his faith and ethnicity and, possibly, not the last. Despite seemingly obvious discrimination and hate, the Nye County Police Department has not yet filed this case as a hate crime. Doing so would warrant a deeper investigation by the FBI, which would hopefully lead to a conviction of the hateful individuals who committed this crime. It is imperative that this incident be taken seriously and be treated as what it appears to be: a blatant hate crime.

The Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) has already urged officials at the local and federal levels to investigate this case further, but as of yet, no such action has been taken. Show that Islamophobia should be taken seriously in Nevada by adding your voice below.


Dear Sheriff Werhly,

I was deeply concerned to learn about the crime committed against Vic Ahmed, the business owner whose shop was vandalized with hateful, threatening graffiti. Like so many other Muslim-Americans, Mr. Ahmed is especially vulnerable at this point in our nation’s history. Hate crimes against Muslims have risen at an alarming rate in just the past year, and what happened to Mr. Ahmed appears to be part of this dangerous trend.

As of now, your department has not classified this act of vandalism as a hate crime. I find this baffling considering the explicitly racist and Islamophobic nature of the slurs directed at Mr. Ahmed. I could not possibly fathom that defiling someone’s place of business with words like “sand ni***er” and “camel jockey” might be motivated by anything other than hate.

I must strongly urge you and the NCPD to file this as a hate crime and turn it over to the FBI. By doing so, you would be sending a loud, clear message to Nye County–intolerance will not be tolerated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: William Murphy

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