Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans releases statement:
(Dec. 9, 2011) — Earlier this week on Wednesday, a faculty member of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was stabbed by a man shortly before 6 AM in the waiting area of a train station. A witness said the suspect and the victim were seated when the suspect suddenly jumped up and shouted that this was his country. He then attacked the victim, stabbing him in the neck with a utility knife. A witness intervened and the victim was taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana.
The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans is sadden by this event and troubled by the circumstances surrounding the incident. News media accounts have reported that:
The alleged perpetrator, a White American man who is not affiliated with the University, is reported to have shouted, This is my country! while he attacked the victim, a Sri Lankan American faculty member.
Police say a University of Illinois faculty member, a Hindu from Sri Lanka who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was attacked by a man who said he wanted to save his country. The man accused apparently believed the man was “Middle Eastern.
At a time of high anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, discrimination and hate has made some people in our community more likely targets of discrimination, intolerance, and violence due to their perceived identity. As a society, we must take a stand against violence and promote a climate of inclusion, respect, and mutually shaped engagement that challenges discriminatory beliefs and attitudes.
The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans