(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 9/13/2016) — The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today called on the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether violations of the civil rights of a Muslim Marine Corps recruit led to his death in boot camp.
Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Mich., died in March 2016 in boot camp – reportedly as suicide – after being hazed by his drill instructor which included him being forcefully struck in the face.
Following a Marine Corps investigation, 20 individuals are facing possible disciplinary action relating to the circumstances of Siddiqui’s death.
SEE: 20 Marines Face Discipline After Muslim Recruit’s Death Is Ruled a Suicide (NY Times)
Siddiqui’s drill instructor is also under investigation for reportedly abusing another Muslim recruit in 2015, which included humiliating him in the shower, making him get into a dryer then turning it on and questioning him about his religion.
SEE: USMC: Muslim-American recruit was called ‘terrorist’ prior to his death (The Beaufort Gazette)
“We call on the DOJ to launch a thorough investigation into the death of Raheel Siddiqui to determine if the violation of his civil rights led to his death,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “The seriousness of this case rises to the level for intervention from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.”
Walid, who is a veteran of the United States Navy, also stated that the Civil Rights Division should assist the U.S. Department of Defense in taking further steps to ensure the civil rights of Muslim, Sikh and other religious minorities are protected in boot camps as well as while stationed and deployed on active or reserve duties.
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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, firstname.lastname@example.org, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,email@example.com