The sister of thirty-seven year-old Khalid Jabara, an Oklahoma man of Lebanese origin, says the man who killed her brother was a “hateful person,” who “seemed to hate anyone who didn’t look like him.” She is concerned about increased reports of hate crimes against Arab and Muslim Americans.
Jabara was killed by his neighbor, 61 year-old Stanley Majors, in front of the family’s porch on August 12. Shadowproof spoke to the Jabara family, communicating through their spokesperson, Rebecca Abou-Chedid.
According to Vicky Jabara, Khalid’s sister, Majors moved into the neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2011. It wasn’t long before his verbal abuse began.
This abuse “continued to escalate” and forced their mother, Haifa Jabara, “to apply for a protective order against him in November 2013.”
Vicky told Shadowproof that their mother had been on a walk in their neighborhood when she was run over by Majors. The attack resulted in “a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs, amongst other injuries.”
Majors “later told the police that she was a ‘filthy Lebanese.’ He was “released on just $60,000 bond with no conditions—no ankle monitor, no drug or alcohol testing, no requirement to check in, nothing,” according to Vicky.
“We did everything we could to keep our family safe,” Vicky added. “We feel that Khalid’s death was both foreseeable and avoidable.”
Stanley Majors was a “hateful person,” Vicky adds, and he “seemed to hate anyone who didn’t look like him.” Majors “made xenophobic comments about many in our community. ‘Filthy Mexican’ and the ‘n’ word were all part of his hateful approach to anyone from a different background.”
In light of growing anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim sentiment, Vicky said the family is “concerned with reports of increased reports of hate crimes against Arab and Muslim Americans, as all Americans should be.”
“We are so grateful for the love and support we have received from people across the country,” Vicky shared.
In an interview with the Tulsa World, Haifa said her son saved her life when he used the final moments of his life to warn her to stay away because Majors had a gun.
“Because if I came, definitely he would shoot me because he tried to kill me,” Haifa suggested.
For the Tulsa World, Jabara’s family recounted how Khalid enjoyed 1990s-era R&B music and doing impersonations. Some of his best impersonations included “Kermit the Frog, Aaron Neville’s wavering vocals on the hit song, ‘Don’t Know Much,’ and the speech synthesizer of a Speak and Spell, the first hand-held child’s computer of its kind popular when they were kids growing up in the 1980s.”
The Jabara family fled the civil war in Lebanon in 1983, which has added a layer of irony to the tragedy. None of the family expected this would happen in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The local Tulsa community has been supportive, according to the family. The community banded together to create a fundraising campaign to support the family, which can be found here.
Local authorities confirmed Khalid called law enforcement minutes before he was murdered by his neighbor.
While its primary casualties are Muslims, Islamophobia also impacts non-Muslims, including Sikhs, and persons of color who are assumed to be Muslim based on their skin color, language, or suspected country of origin.
One of the first victims of raging anti-Muslim violence that bubbled over immediately after 9/11 was Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was shot and killed outside of his gas station in Arizona on September 15—just four days after the attacks.
In 2001, the non-profit organization The Sikh Coalition was founded in direct response to similar attacks against Sikh Americans, and it remains as one of the leading voices in the fight against bigotry and fear targeting marginalized communities of color.
According to Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War On Those Who Are Different, and numerous reports since the “War on Terror” started, anti-Arab hate crimes occurred after 9/11 in the forms of threats, verbal abuse, and fatal violence. Attacks on Arab Americans were jarring to many.
“Americans of Arab or Islamic religious beliefs who had previously lived in relative peace and tranquillity abruptly found themselves at great personal risk. Prejudiced feelings about Arabs and Muslims, long hidden from view, suddenly were expressed in a generalized suspicion of anyone of Middle Eastern heritage.”