(Seattle, WA, 7/1/2024) – The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, calls for justice in the murder of 17-year-old Hazrat Ali Rohani in Renton on June 5, 2024. Hazrat Ali was walking with friends to return an airsoft gun when the group was accosted by 51-year-old Aaron Brown Myers, who is charged with shooting and killing Hazrat Ali.

All three teenagers in the group were from Afghan immigrant families, and Hazrat Ali wore a beard, a cultural way for Muslim men to show participation in religion. Hazrat Ali Rohani was the eldest of six children, and a junior at Kent-Meridian High School.

On Monday, July 24, in a hearing at the King County Superior Court, Myers pled not guilty to counts of second-degree murder and second-degree assault.

SEE: KUOW – Man charged with murdering teen outside of Renton Big 5 Sporting Goods pleads not guilty

Imraan Siddiqi, Executive Director of CAIR-WA, said: “It is painful to see another brown boy murdered at the hands of a man who is acting as a vigilante. Myers had no authority to stop the young men, no indication of a real threat, and, as if that isn’t enough, six of the seven shots that killed Hazrat Ali Rohani were shot into his back. We must ask ourselves how race and ethnicity played a role in Myers’ actions.“

Jamaluddin Rohani, Hazrat Ali Rohani’s father, said: “My family is shocked that this could happen. We are devastated. I am grieving the loss of my eldest child while continuing to work and navigating the legal case brought by the state of Washington against my son’s killer. We want to do whatever we can to do right by our son. Please keep our family in your prayers.”

The state of Washington is prosecuting Myers on murder and assault charges. CAIR Washington is not currently providing legal representation, but is supporting the family through our Civil Rights unit and Immigrant Justice Project, where we have been serving Afghan community members for the last several years.

CAIR-WA calls for swift justice and public outcry in this case of senseless violence.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.