It’s Time for Indiana to Take a Stand

Hate crime legislation must be passed

February 21, 2019

On February 16th, Mustafa Ayoubi, an American Muslim of Afghan descent, was shot and killed during a road rage incident. According to witnesses, Dustin Passarelli, the assailant, berated Ayoubi, who was unarmed at the time, with Islamophobic slurs moments before fatally shooting him. We condemn this hateful act, and extend our sympathies to Mustafa Ayoubi’s friends and family, particularly those friends who bore witness to his murder.

This incident also shines a light on the state of Indiana, where state Senators are currently debating a hate crimes law which, if passed, would be the state’s first such bill. Although we have successfully passed anti-hate crimes resolutions on a federal level, we need state-level laws to make a significant impact. Indiana is one of only five states not to have a hate crimes law.

If hate is indeed the motivating factor in the death of Ayoubi his murder should be investigated as a hate crime and Passarelli should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We hope that Marion County prosecutors seek to try the case in federal court, where hate crimes laws would apply, and that Indiana state Senators move quickly to protect individuals of vulnerable communities who face an increase of hate-based violence in recent years.


Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a national nonprofit working to promote and strengthen American pluralism by increasing understanding and improving policies that impact American Muslims.

Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.