Twelve days after a Sacramento Muslim was shot to death in a Home Depot parking lot, community leaders gathered to speak out against a culture of hate.
46-year old Hassan Alawsi was shot after shopping with his sister, who was wearing an Arabic-style dress and headscarf.
Authorities now have 44-year old Jeffrey Caylor of Butte County in custody on charges of murder, but that isn't easing the calls for a end to what Basim Elkarra of CAIR California calls "Islamaphobia."
"What's sad is that Hassan Alawsi left war-torn Iraq to find a safe place to live and provide for his family, and now he'll be returning to that war-torn country in a casket," Elkarra lamented.
Leaders of various groups, including the Sacramento Interfaith Council, AFL-CIO and Sacramento Unified School District spoke for a need to educate our children that acts like this do not belong in a free society. They also expressed their condolences to the mother and father of Hassan Alawsi.
His mother, dressed in all black was visibly sobbing through the event. His father, quietly overcome with grief was helped from the room before it's conclusion.
The Sacramento Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau is investigating the case but has yet to label it a hate crime.