(UnitedVoice.com) – Hate crimes against Jewish and Muslim Americans are on the rise in the wake of the war between Israel and Hamas. In Ohio, a man is now under fire for allegedly faking one of those crimes.
On October 22, Hesham A. Ayyad called the police in North Ridgeville, Ohio, and said he’d been hit by a car. The injured 20-year-old claimed the accident was “racially motivated.” The day after the attack, more details emerged. Ayyad, a Palestinian-American, said he was walking home from eating lunch when someone in a car slowed down and yelled, “Kill all Palestinians,” and “Long live Israel.” Then he claimed the person swerved their vehicle toward him. The person then did a U-turn, came back, ran him over, and yelled, “DIE!”
Ayyad’s allegations led to calls for a police investigation from the Muslim civil rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Faten Odeh, CAIR-Ohio, said he hoped the police and FBI would “collect all the information they need to charge [the suspect] with a hate crime.” He went on to say Muslims deserved to “feel safe to walk down the street” and participate in other normal activities.
CAIR got what they asked for. The police did investigate, but the outcome was much different than the group likely anticipated.
When police reviewed footage from cameras in the area, they reportedly saw Ayyad fighting with his brother, 19-year-old Khalil A. Ayyad. There was no car accident, just a physical fight involving his brother.
Law enforcement arrested both men. They were charged with assault and domestic violence. Police also charged Hesham Ayyad with making false alarms, obstructing official business, and falsification.
This isn’t the first time someone has faked a hate crime. In 2019, actor Jussie Smollett, who is black and gay, destroyed his career when he claimed supporters of then-President Donald Trump beat him and tried to lynch him in Chicago. He reported it as a hate crime, but law enforcement discovered it was all staged, and he was prosecuted.
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