A PRAYER VIGIL: LIGHT A CANDLE
For the children of Peshawar, Pakistan
Parking lot of the Islamic Center of Johnson County
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
Shawnee Mission Islamic Education Center (SMIEC)
Shawnee, Kansas, December 17, 2014
Contact: Prof. Syed Eqbal Hasan firstname.lastname@example.org
Condemnation of the massacre of school children
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
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?
Another Hate Crime in Kansas City?
A PRAYER and NEWS REPORTS below
Spirit of Life,
You are a God of Compassion
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
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
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, email@example.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
- END –
CONTACT: CAIR-Kansas Chairman
Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications
Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com
2014 Dec 07 The Kansas City
2014 Dec 07 The Kansas City
mourn teen killed in street
violent death of boy in front of mosque has drawn the Muslim community
By MARK MORRIS The Kansas
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
from his sins as a white garment is cleansed from dirt,” it reads in part.
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
To reach Mark
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 Dec 06 The Kansas City
KC Star Editorial
killed outside of mosque
act of violence
motivation, the killing of a 15-year-old Somali boy outside a mosque in
northeast Kansas City Thursday is appalling.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
hate crime outside a Kansas City mosque kills one teenager.
Contact: Zulfiqar Malik HeartlandMuslimCouncil@gmail.com
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
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
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
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
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
“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.
“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
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
“But he needs help,” Abdisamad replied.
Abdi paused to compose himself.
“He was one of the best boys at the
center,” he said.
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.
ROBERT A. CRONKLETON | THE STAR
Hundreds gather at the Somali Center
of Kansas City each weekend.
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
“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
The Kansas City Muslim Community is “deeply shocked,”according
to a press release from Zulfiqar Malik, a board member with the Heartland
“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 email@example.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
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
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
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,
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
“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
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
“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 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
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
DEPLORES ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT
Contacts: Sheila Sonnenschein, Convener
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rev. Mary McCoy, Co-Convener
P. O. Box 2117
Mission, KS 66202
August 8, 2014
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
(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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Board Member Mahnaz Shabbir,
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.’
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
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
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 reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312
or send email to email@example.com.
The Kansas City Star. LEWIS DIUGUID
08/07/2014 5:05 PM
Kansas GOP official should
following racist tweet against
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ?
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