Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Islamophobia: Worker upset by threats in notes - Miami Herald

Expand Messages
  • Zafar Khan
    Worker upset by threats in notes Deputies are looking into some ethnically derogatory notes left on the windshield of a car salesman s vehicle. BY JANETTE
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2005
      Worker upset by threats in notes

      Deputies are looking into some ethnically derogatory
      notes left on the windshield of a car salesman's



      Ziad Ismail, a Palestinian man who sells cars in
      Deerfield Beach, said he tried for months to ignore
      the ethnic slurs directed toward him by colleagues at
      work before contacting police.

      But on Friday, Ismail left the dealership where he
      works and found a note wedged under his car's
      windshield wiper that read ''to Gaza or death.'' The
      50-year-old Coral Springs resident decided to call

      Then, on Sunday, Ismail found another note that
      stated, ''You must quit or go to Jerusalem,'' and he
      called the police again.

      Each of the paper messages included letters cut out
      from magazines, so no handwriting could be traced,
      police reports indicate.

      Ismail waited for Broward Sheriff's Office deputies to
      investigate and told the management at his office,
      King Motor Co. of South Florida, about the incident.
      On Monday, a shaken Ismail returned to work, where he
      sells Suzukis, Hyundais and Saturns, he said.

      `THANK GOD'

      ''The cops are taking care of it -- thank God -- and
      we'll see what happens,'' Ismail said, hoping that
      deputies will be able to catch the notes' author.

      Ismail declined in a phone interview to say more about
      the incidents.

      BSO is investigating the incidents as possible hate
      crimes, said spokesman Hugh Graf.

      ''We obviously are concerned. We value his safety, his
      well-being, his thoughts and opinions, and we're going
      to investigate this thoroughly . . . and see if it
      falls into parameters of a hate crime,'' Graf said.

      In a police report, Ismail states that a sales manager
      had been ''making racial statements and jokes to other
      employees'' and also called him a ``little

      Ismail told deputies that ''other employees get
      involved with the statements made like it's a running
      joke,'' and that such derogatory comments also were
      made in front of customers.


      Jeff Gale, vice president at King Motor, 1399 S.
      Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach, issued a statement
      about the incidents.

      ''King Motor has a strict policy prohibiting
      harassment or discrimination of any kind,'' the
      statement reads. ``We are working closely and
      cooperating fully with authorities to find the
      responsible party. We are also conducting our own
      investigation into this matter and are hopeful that
      this will be resolved as soon as possible.''

      Gale declined to comment further.

      Edie Perez, a friend of Ismail, said Ismail started
      working at the dealership in January. She said he has
      lived in the United States since he was 12.

      ''It started off jokingly, but now it's just a
      constant harassment on this poor guy and he doesn't
      deserve this,'' said Perez, who said she has known
      Ismail for about two years. ``He's one of the top
      salesmen, so he's bringing in productivity to the
      company and . . . when he has complained to his
      immediate supervisors, they say don't worry about it
      -- just go out and sell cars.''

      The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a
      Washington, D.C.-based civil rights group, is also
      looking into Ismail's complaint, said the
      organization's Florida legal advisor, Areeb Naseer.

      How much free photo storage do you get? Store your holiday
      snaps for FREE with Yahoo! Photos http://uk.photos.yahoo.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.