INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday, State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) presented Senate Resolution (SR) 85 to family members of Mustafa Ayoubi, the 32-year-old man killed in a hate crime in Indianapolis this February. SR 85, authored by Sen. Ford and State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis), honors the life of Mr. Ayoubi and recognizes the influence of Islamophobia in his death. Sen. Ford, Sen. Taylor and Zahra Ayoubi, Mustafa’s sister, all gave their reactions to the resolution.

“Hate crimes are still prevalent in our country, and they are happening right on our own door step,” Sen. Ford said. “In addition to fighting for a clear and inclusive hate crimes law, the least I could do for Mr. Ayoubi’s family was to show them that there are state officials who will not forget what happened to an innocent Hoosier. I want this resolution to show that I will honor Mustafa Ayoubi’s life and never stop fighting for a hate crimes law that will protect every Hoosier in Indiana.”

“The death of Mr. Ayoubi is a terrible tragedy that cannot be remedied,” Sen. Taylor said. “And while nothing will ever ease the pain that his family is experiencing, I would like them and all Hoosiers to know that there are still elected officials fighting to get a comprehensive hate crimes law passed. Unfortunately, hate crimes are on the rise in our country, and Indiana is no exception. That’s why I have championed hate crimes legislation for the past six years and why I will continue fighting until the legislature passes a hate crimes bill that protects every single Hoosier in this state.”

“My family would like to thank Senator Ford and Senator Taylor for presenting SR 85 and honoring Mustafa’s life,” Ms. Ayoubi said. “We will never forget what hate took away from us, and we relive that moment each time another person is killed because of his race, religion and ethnicity. It is unfortunate that currently our leaders are promoting hate and bigotry and not condemning these acts. Hate is not a mental disease but a learned behavior from the environment we are raised in. I also want to thank all those leaders and individuals who fought alongside my family to pass the bias crimes law. Although there is room for improvement, I am glad that our state took the first step in the right direction, and I am hopeful that we will continue to fight for justice for our Hoosiers. There shouldn’t be any room for hate in our state.”